BRONCOS

Report: Broncos lose Greg Dulcich to hamstring injury

Sep 12, 2023, 8:52 AM | Updated: Sep 13, 2023, 10:23 am

Much has changed for the Broncos in 2023, but unfortunately for them and Greg Dulcich, the tight end’s troublesome hamstring remains a problem.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Dulcich is expected to miss “multiple weeks” after suffering an injury to the same hamstring he injured three times during the course of his rookie year.

Dulcich suffered this injury just before halftime of the Broncos’ 17-16 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. When he went to the sideline, he gestured toward his right leg. He did not return after playing 21 first-half snaps and catching two passes for 22 yards.

The injury comes on the heels of a rookie season that began with a hamstring injury during OTAs. Dulcich returned for training camp, only to go back to the sideline after aggravating the hamstring in practice. The Broncos subsequently opted to exercise caution with his recovery, and he sat out nearly two months — including a stint on recallable injured reserve — before returning to the lineup and making his regular-season debut in Week 6 of last year.

Dulcich made an immediate impact, turning his second career reception into a 39-yard touchdown. He remained in the lineup for nine more games, tallying 411 yards and two touchdowns on 33 receptions. But he re-injured the hamstring in Week 16 and missed the final two contests.

Still, he returned to health by the offseason and went through OTAs and training camp with no issues.

THE TIGHT ENDS WITHOUT GREG DULCICH

Broncos coach Sean Payton spoke in the offseason of Greg Dulcich as a potential “joker” to be moved around as a pass-catching target. By Sunday, that appeared to be his role, and the Broncos moved the ball effectively with him on the field.

Now, they must adapt. After trading Albert Okuweugbunam to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Broncos don’t have a tight end in reserve who possesses a similar vertical speed and game-breaking threat. No. 1 tight end Adam Trautman is an all-around presence, but doesn’t have Dulcich’s skill set. Chris Manhertz is primarily a blocking presence.

Rookie tight end Nate Adkins did not play Sunday as a healthy scratch. In the short term, it appears as if he may be active Sunday. Adkins is an all-around player who can also rotate in as a fullback.

“When Greg goes out, that kind of changes some personnel groupings,” Broncos coach Sean Payton said.

ESPN reported the Broncos would “take it slow” with Dulcich’s recovery. Given the litany of hamstring problems, that is understandable.

But along with some familiar mistakes Sunday, Dulcich’s injury is a reminder that the Broncos can’t yet shake free of the problems that plagued them prior to Payton’s arrival.

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