After injuring his hamstring this Wednesday in practice, Broncos slot receiver KJ Hamler will not be available this Sunday when the team travels to Nashville, according to Troy Renck of Denver7. This leaves Denver’s receiving corps down two men as Tim Patrick remains on injured reserve after a preseason ACL tear.
Renck points out that the absence of Hamler is especially damaging as the Titans have struggled to defend the middle of the field against slot receivers this season. The natural replacement for Hamler in the slot would this year’s fifth-round pick Montrell Washington. The rookie out of Samford has only amassed three catches for five yards this year in limited time but physically represents the best matchup in the slot.
Whoever the Broncos line up in the slot should get plenty of opportunities with wideouts Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy drawing attention on the perimeter. The Broncos could also see plenty of production from tight ends Greg Dulcich, Eric Saubert, and Albert Okwuegbunam across the middle.
The Broncos haven’t quite had the season they were hoping for after acquiring quarterback Russell Wilson in a trade with Seattle this offseason. Denver is hoping that the offensive momentum from the team’s win over Jacksonville two weeks ago will carry through the bye week into this week’s matchup with the Titans. Losing Hamler as a target in the middle of the field hurts, but Wilson and company can still capitalize against the Titans’ perceived weakness.