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Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy sustained a hamstring injury on Thursday during a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams. Jeudy is the fifth wide receiver from the Broncos to go down with an injury during the preseason.
Jeudy, the top wide receiver on the Broncos, fell to the ground with a noncontact injury during an end-around running play. He needed assistance off the field with a medical cart.
The Broncos hinted that Jeudy could miss several weeks of action, which would cut into the beginning of the regular season. Hamstring injuries for wide receivers take anywhere from four to six weeks to heal, depending on the severity of the strain.
Typically, in our system, we bring receivers in and out,” said head coach Sean Payton. “But Jerry plays Z — the slot position — for us. We have a lot of guys. Hopefully, it’s not anything that’s too long-term.”
Jeudy caught 67 passes for 972 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games last season. He missed three games in 2022 with a high ankle sprain.
Another Week, Another WR Injury
The bad luck continues for the Broncos. In the first week of training camp, veteran wide receiver Tim Patrick tore his Achilles during a 7-on-7 drill. It was a devastating loss for Patrick, who missed the entire 2022 season while recovering from a torn ACL.
K.J. Hamler also announced that he had to step away from the team after he was diagnosed with a heart condition known as pericarditis. Hamler is expected to return to the Broncos as soon as he gets his new heart medication properly dialed in.
Jalen Virgil, a second-year wide receiver from Appalachian State, injured his knee last weekend during a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers. The Broncos placed Virgil on the injured reserve with a torn meniscus.
Despite all of the injuries to wide receivers this season, and in the last few seasons, Payton doesn’t think the Broncos are jinxed.
I don’t believe in being snakebitten,” Payton told The Athletic.
Johnson, a second-year wide receiver from UCF, missed the last few weeks with a leg injury. The Broncos had one bit of positive news when Johnson returned to the team this week.
Rookie Mims Has Chance to Step Up
Without Jeudy in the starting lineup, Courtland Sutton moves into the WR #1 spot on the Broncos’ depth chart.
Rookie Marvin Mims, Jr. has been getting reps with the starters in the last few days of practice. Mims, a second-round pick out of Oklahoma, could move up into the WR #2 role by default.
Mims is making progress,” said Payton. “He’s doing well. It’s good to have him getting all these practice snaps and punt returns.”
The Broncos also have Johnson, Kendall Hinton, Marquez Callaway, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey on the current roster. At the start of training camp, it looked like only a couple of them would make the final cut. But all of them could make the team with so many injured wideouts.
Callaway and Humphrey played for Payton when he was the head coach of the New Orleans Saints before he stepped down at the end of the 2021 season. Callaway scored six touchdowns for the Saints in 17 games in 2021. Jordan added two touchdowns in 10 games with the Saints in 2021.
With Jeudy expected to miss the start of the season, fantasy football owners should take a second look at Mims and other rookie wide receivers during their upcoming drafts.
Outlook for the Broncos on the Futures Market
The Broncos won only five games in quarterback Russell Wilson’s first season in Denver. The outlook is a little brighter heading into this season, but oddsmakers are still wary about the Broncos overall. The addition of Payton as their new head coach is a step in the right direction. The jury is still out on Wilson, who struggled last season with multiple injuries, including a gnarly concussion.
The Broncos have a win total of 8.5 over/under. The number hasn’t changed despite Jeudy’s injury and the Broncos losing several wide receivers.
The Broncos are +550 odds to win the AFC West as the third-highest favorite on the board. The Kansas City Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champions, and they’re the consensus top team in the division after winning seven straight AFC West titles. The Chiefs are -165 odds to defend their division crown. The Los Angeles Chargers are their closest competition in the division at +340 odds.
The Broncos are +4500 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII, and +3000 odds to win the AFC Championship.
According to DraftKings’ “Make the Playoffs” prop bet, the Broncos are a slight favorite to miss the postseason at -215 odds. You can back the Broncos at +180 odds to qualify for the playoffs.
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