BRONCOS

Broncos WR Jalen Virgil lands on injured reserve with meniscus injury

Aug 22, 2023, 10:36 AM | Updated: Aug 24, 2023, 12:27 pm

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos’ once-bountiful wide receiver corps continues to absorb body blows.

The latest came to second-year veteran Jalen Virgil, who officially landed on injured reserve Tuesday after suffering a meniscus injury in the final seconds of the first half of Saturday’s 21-20 preseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

The move would end Virgil’s season — unless the Broncos waive him and restore him to the 53-player roster.

Denver did that with Brandon Johnson last year. The Broncos waived him on Sept. 6, then brought him back to the practice squad and eventually the 53-player roster. Johnson ended up playing 7 games down the stretch.

Virgil, who appeared to be tracking toward making the team, tore meniscus as he dove for the goal line on what was a 50-yard pass from QB Jarrett Stidham. He fell short of the end zone, but still managed to get up and align for the next snap — a spike that was determined to have drained the final seconds from the clock.

The undrafted Appalachian State product had a 66-yard touchdown reception against Tennessee last year. But he generally saw scant use in his rookie campaign, except as a 9-ball threat.

However, Virgil’s second training camp saw his role expand and his route tree grow. He worked into a greater role on special teams, enjoying some standout moments on kickoff and punt coverage during training camp.

Virgil is the latest Broncos receiver to fall victim to injury or illness this summer. He joins the following wide receivers:

  • Tim Patrick (season-ending IR, torn Achilles tendon)
  • KJ Hamler (waived, pericarditis)
  • Brandon Johnson (suffered ankle injury in camp, but returned Tuesday)

The Broncos made a corresponding move with Virgil’s vacated spot, signing former XFL wide receiver Josh Hammond. Hammond also spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hammond will likely catch passes from fellow XFL product Ben DiNucci. He played for the D.C. Defenders, while DiNucci toiled for the Seattle Sea Dragons.

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