Recently, the Denver Broncos receiver room took a big hit as Tim Patrick went down with an injury during training camp. Initially, the injury was not disclosed to the media, Patrick was just seen being carted off of the field with an apparent injury that appeared to be serious. After tests were run, it was officially disclosed by the Broncos that Patrick had suffered a torn ACL. To make things even worse for the Broncos, running back Damarea Crockett also suffered a torn ACL the same day.
For the time being, Patrick is expected to miss the entire 2022 season. This is especially disappointing when taking into consideration that this year could have been a breakout season for Patrick. Statistically, he had more or less reached a wall on what he could achieve with the core the Broncos had last year. After becoming a full-time starter, it appeared that Patrick would put up a consistent 80-85 targets, 50-55 receptions, 740 yards, and five touchdowns. His stats were almost identical during his two seasons as a full-time starter while having Drew Lock as his quarterback. However, with Jerry Jeudy being arrested over the offseason and the Broncos bringing in Russell Wilson to be the team’s new quarterback, it appeared that this would be the year that Patrick would put his name on the map and it seemed like this would be a lock for a 1000 yard season for him. Although he suffered one of the most serious injuries an NFL player can face, there is still a very minuscule chance that Patrick could return this season if Denver makes a very deep playoff run. Outside of that, he will remain out due to injury for the entire season, barring any medical miracles.
What the Broncos Are Losing Without Patrick Able to Play
As previously mentioned, this could have been a massive year for Patrick if he was able to play this season. Everything was lining up perfectly for him to break through as a solid number two receiver in what would have been a very pass-dominant offense. Without him on the field, Wilson is now down two pass catchers before he even takes an in-game snap with the team. If the AFC West is anywhere near the gauntlet that we are expecting it to be this season, the Broncos will need everyone they can to stay competitive. With divisional rivals like the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders having some of the best defensive units in the NFL, losing a key receiver like Patrick before the season even begins really hurts.
With Jeudy already likely to miss some time this year if not the entire season, losing Patrick as well leaves Denver at a major disadvantage. They mortgaged their entire future to acquire Wilson who is a veteran quarterback. There is no guarantee that he will continue to be an elite quarterback for a substantial amount of time and their championship window is now. With there not being time to throw seasons away, the Broncos must find another quality receiver to fill Patrick’s spot, or adjust their game plan to be a more run-dominant team that they probably would like.