K.J. Hamler

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/20/24

Saturday’s reserve/futures contracts:

Buffalo Bills

Hamler dealt with a slew of injuries during his tenure with the Broncos. He was waived in August as a result of a heart condition which required medication but not surgery. The former second-rounder joined the Colts’ practice squad one month later, but he wound up on IR and did not take the field in 2023. Hamler has played only 23 games in the NFL, but he entered the league with high expectations as a vertical threat. He will look to find a depth role in Buffalo this offseason.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/1/23

December’s first practice squad adjustments:

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Hamler reportedly had joined the Colts’ practice squad at full health after undergoing offseason surgery to repair a partially torn pectoral muscle and taking time away from football to deal with pericarditis, a heart condition that didn’t require surgery but did necessitate medication. Despite being seemingly healthy at the time of his signing, Hamler has yet to be elevated for an in-game appearance in 2023 and is now headed to the practice squad’s injured reserve. It’s unclear if this newest transaction has anything to do with the 24-year-old’s previous health issues.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/30/23

Saturday’s taxi squad moves:

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New York Jets

Colts Add WR KJ Hamler To Practice Squad

KJ Hamler has found his next gig. The free agent wideout has joined the Colts practice squad, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The former second-round pick was waived by the Broncos with a non-football illness designation back in August. It was revealed that Hamler was dealing with pericarditis, a heart condition which required medication rather than surgery. Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the receiver took “some time away from football to get healthy,” and Hamler will land his next gig about two months after getting cut by Denver.

Hamler was expected to be a major part of a talented young receivers corps in Denver, but he could never gain the same traction as teammates Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton. Hamler’s best season came during his rookie year, when he hauled in 30 catches for 381 yards and three touchdowns. His 2021 season was limited to only three games thanks to a torn ACL, and while the receive was able to return for the 2022 campaign, he finished with only seven catches for 165 yards before landing on IR with a hamstring injury.

The 24-year-old underwent offseason surgery to repair a partially torn pectoral muscle. Hamler has apparently fully recovered from that operation, and it sounds like he’ll be joining the Colts at full health.

The Colts seem to be set atop their WR depth chart for the foreseeable future with Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce, and rookie third-round pick Josh Downs leading the way. The Colts have been eyeing a fifth receiver behind that trio and offseason acquisition Isaiah McKenzie. Juwann Winfree got the first shot at the gig, but Schefter notes that the team opted to promote wide receiver Amari Rodgers from the practice squad for Week 4.

Broncos To Waive WR KJ Hamler

AUGUST 1: Hamler is expected to miss around a month, per Sean Payton. While that could open the door to a reunion before the season, the new Broncos HC indicated it will likely take a few weeks for the young wide receiver to ramp up after the time away. Hamler also spent the offseason rehabbing a torn pectoral muscle he sustained early this year.

JULY 31: On a day when one Broncos wideout appeared to suffer a second straight season-ending injury, more unfortunate news surfaced concerning another member of the unit. KJ Hamler provided an update on his latest ailment, one which will lead to at least a temporary departure from the team.

[RELATED: Tim Patrick Believed To Have Torn Achilles]

Denver will waive Hamler with a non-football illness designation, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). The move will not mark a permanent separation with the former second-rounder, but rather a procedural transaction which will open up a roster spot and keep the door open to a return at some point during the season. Placing Hamler on the reserve/NFI list would have ended his season.

The Penn State product revealed (via Garafolo, on Twitter) on Monday that he is dealing with pericarditis, a heart condition which will be treated with medication rather than surgery. The recovery timeline is not expected to sideline him for the season, with Garafolo noting Hamler should miss “weeks, not months.” That should allow him to return at some point in the 2023 campaign, one of vital importance for him.

Hamler has faced numerous injury troubles during his three-year Broncos tenure. The 24-year-old played 13 games as a rookie, but has managed to suit up for only 10 after that. His 14.8 yards per catch average point to his abilities as a deep threat, though his receiving totals (42 catches, 620 yards, three touchdowns) are a product of a very small sample size. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, a healthy and productive season would do wonders for Hamler’s future in Denver or elsewhere.

The Broncos have Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton at the top of their WR depth chart, one which will be thin in the absence of Hamler and veteran Tim Patrick. Second-round rookie Marvin Mims could find himself in a starting role right away, something the team likely accounted for knowing the history of availability issues for Patrick and Hamler.

“I will be back on the field — better and stronger than ever — as soon as possible this season,” the latter’s Instagram post on his situation reads in part. “I feel great physically and this is frustrating for me to deal with… This is not farewell. This is not a goodbye. This is a see you soon as I take a break for my health.”

Broncos RB Javonte Williams Avoids PUP To Start Camp

JULY 27: Williams confirmed (via 9News’ Mike Klis) Thursday he has been cleared for contact work. The North Carolina alum said he was told his recovery timetable could last around a year. Instead, he has been cleared before the 10-month mark. Sean Payton said the team will proceed cautiously with Williams, who has two years remaining on his rookie contract.

JULY 23: The Broncos delivered some good news as they announced some injury list placements today, leaving third-year running back Javonte Williams off of any lists as he continues to work his way back from last year’s season-ending injury. While there’s still work to be done, Williams’s continued participation in this offseason points to a Week 1 return for Denver’s lead back.

Williams suffered a blow to his sophomore season when he suffered a torn ACL after only four weeks of play last year, ending his season. The initial diagnosis was dire enough, but further reports detailed that Williams had also torn his LCL and posterior lateral corner, making his road to recovery a bit longer.

As Denver entered into the offseason, the goal became clear: get Williams back in time for training camp. Things were looking positive as Williams was on the field for spring activities. He only worked out in a limited capacity, but getting Williams on the field at all that early was a big step. Earlier this month, Williams expressed much of the same optimism that his team had been expressing publicly, believing himself that he’d be able to make a return by training camp. His absence from any designated injury lists today is yet another good sign of where he’s at in his recovery.

Williams injury had originally occurred during a season in which he was expected to take on much more work after splitting carries with Melvin Gordon as a rookie. When he returns this season, though, there won’t be too big of an expectation to work as a bell-cow in the Broncos offense. New head coach Sean Payton is certainly familiar with two-headed rushing attacks dating back to the Pierre ThomasReggie Bush duo and the Alvin KamaraMark Ingram combinations in New Orleans. While Gordon is now in Baltimore and Mike Boone found his way to Houston, Denver plans to pair Williams with former Bengals rusher Samaje Perine, who signed with the team in March. Perine has a history of being a strong RB2 over his career, which should take a bit of the pressure off of Williams’s shoulders.

While Williams’s absence from any lists is the main news, the Broncos did move four players from the active roster, according to Broncos lead writer Aric DiLalla. Outside linebacker Baron Browning and wide receiver Kendall Hinton were placed on the physically unable to perform list, while wide receiver K.J. Hamler and nose tackle Mike Purcell were placed on the non-football injury list.

Browning underwent knee surgery in June, but he hasn’t yet been ruled out from returning in time for the regular season. Hinton also went through a knee procedure, so his placement on the list is no surprise. Hamler was expected to be ready in time for training camp as he works his way back from a pectoral tear, but Denver will have to wait a little longer.

Broncos Rework WR KJ Hamler’s Contract

KJ Hamler is entering the final year of his rookie contract, one which he and the Broncos hope will involve a clean bill of health for the first time in his career. Tweaks to his deal reflect the injuries which have marred his NFL tenure to date.

The Broncos have agreed to an adjusted pact with the wideout, as detailed by ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link). Hamler’s base salary ($1.58MM) will remain the same, but $417K in incentives have been added, giving him extra earning potential ahead of free agency next March. Protections for the team are present as well, however.

An IR split specific to a particular injury has been included in the new deal, Yates adds. As a result, Hamler’s cap hit will be lowered if he spends time on injured reserve with the particular injury mentioned in the clause. The 23-year-old has battled a number of ailments since being drafted by the Broncos, including ACL, hip and hamstring issues.

As a result, he has played just 23 games across his three years in the NFL, including 10 in the past two seasons. Hamler has made 12 receptions over that span, and his 52.5% career catch percentage, coupled with his availability issues, have left his future with the team in doubt. Denver has Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton at the top of the WR depth chart, as well as returnee Tim Patrick. The Broncos also signed Marquez Callaway in free agency and selected Marvin Mims in the second round of this year’s draft to give themselves protection against further injury issues.

Hamler is currently recovering from a torn pec suffered in March. The Penn State product is expected to be healthy in time for training camp next month, but injuries will no doubt be a talking point ahead of his fourth (and potentially final) season in the Mile High City. He will enter 2023 with a new contract in hand, while the team will have insurance against a repeat of his previous missed time.

Broncos WR KJ Hamler Expects To Be Ready For Training Camp

Entering the NFL after an injury prevented a workout at the 2020 Combine, KJ Hamler has not been able to avoid health setbacks as a pro. The Broncos wide receiver finished the past two seasons on IR and is now rehabbing a pectoral tear.

Hamler sustained the chest injury while training independently earlier this year, going down before the Broncos began their offseason program. While Hamler’s latest injury required surgery and put him on shaky ground for training camp, the speedy wideout expects to be cleared by the time the Broncos reconvene late next month, Denver7’s Troy Renck tweets.

Of course, it is worth wondering where Hamler stands with another new Broncos coaching staff. Since Hamler’s pec injury, the Broncos signed ex-Sean Payton Saints charge Marquez Callaway, doing so after pursuing free agents Allen Lazard and Adam Thielen. Most importantly in Denver’s offseason receiver puzzle, Oklahoma deep threat Marvin Mims arrived via a second-round pick. The Broncos traded up to No. 63 for Mims, making him their first 2023 draftee despite entering the draft without a clear receiver need. Mims topped 20 yards per reception during the 2021 and ’22 seasons.

The Broncos are set to go into camp in better shape at wide receiver compared to how they finished last season. In addition to Hamler finishing another year on IR, the Broncos played all of 2022 without starter Tim Patrick. The former UDFA-turned-extension recipient has been cleared from the ACL tear he suffered during Denver’s 2022 camp, while Mims stands to provide an intriguing wild card for a position group still headlined by Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. Both of the Broncos’ top wideouts spent weeks in trade rumors, but Payton said before the draft the team would not move either. This did not stop teams from calling after the Mims pick. It should not be considered a lock Jeudy and Sutton will both be back, though Denver placed a high asking price — first- and second-round picks, respectively — for the veterans.

The Broncos became the first team since the 2003 Cardinals (Bryant Johnson, Anquan Boldin) to use first- and second-round picks on wideouts in the same draft. That move has not produced stability at the position. While Jeudy has grown into Denver’s No. 1 receiver — in an offense that has struggled to establish consistency — Hamler has not topped 400 receiving yards in a season. He has missed 28 career games, with ACL and hip injuries in September 2021 being his most significant deterrents. A hamstring problem sidelined Hamler for the close of last season. He finished with 165 receiving yards in seven games.

In addition to Hamler, Kendall Hinton looms as an uncertainty to be on the Broncos’ 53-man roster. But the former COVID 19-induced emergency quarterback remains with the team and has made steady contributions as a backup over the past two seasons. Hinton is also recovering from an offseason surgery, per Renck, who notes the former UDFA underwent an arthroscopic knee procedure. Hinton, 26, is also on track for what will be an interesting training camp for this position group.

Broncos WR KJ Hamler Suffers Torn Pec

Injuries have been a constant for KJ Hamler, and another setback will cost him several months this offseason. While training on his own recently, Hamler ran into a setback that will sideline him for months.

The Denver wide receiver sustained a partially torn pectoral muscle during a training session, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Hamler underwent surgery and is expected to miss between four and six months. This timeline could affect Hamler’s availability for training camp or even the start of the season.

Hamler, 23, only played in seven games last season and has not eclipsed 200 receiving yards in a campaign since his 2020 rookie slate. That year, the Broncos became the first team since the 2003 Cardinals to draft wide receivers in the first and second rounds. While the first-round pick (Jerry Jeudy) is trending upward and generating immense trade interest, Hamler (2020’s No. 46 overall pick) has seen his career stall.

This injury occurred away from the team’s facility earlier this month, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. This could move Hamler to the Broncos’ NFI list to start training camp. A reserve/NFI list designation on roster-cutdown day would cost Hamler four games to start the season. That would be familiar territory for the Penn State-developed speedster.

Hamler, who did not work out at the 2020 Combine due to injury, missed four games as a rookie. He missed 14 in 2021 because of a torn ACL and a hip injury that also required surgery. Hamler went down in Week 3 of the ’21 season, and the elusive pass catcher detailed bouts with depression after suffering those setbacks. A hamstring injury midway through last season led Hamler to IR, sidelining him for the second half of the Broncos’ 5-12 slate.

Now in a contract year, Hamler will miss Sean Payton‘s first offseason program. Hamler came up in trade rumors before his hamstring injury last year, but his run of injuries will effectively nix notions of Denver moving the fourth-year player. With Tim Patrick coming off an ACL tear, Jeudy and Courtland Sutton have been the Bronco receivers most commonly thrown into trade rumors. The Broncos have set a high price for Jeudy, as evidenced by the Cowboys and Browns — each interested parties — moving on via respective trades for Brandin Cooks and Elijah Moore.

Broncos Place WR KJ Hamler On IR

The latest injury suffered by KJ Hamler will lead to an extended absence. The Broncos wideout has been placed on IR, per a team announcement on Saturday.

Hamler has been sidelined since Week 9 with a hamstring injury. Signs appeared to be pointing to a return in the near future, but a recent setback ruled him out for tomorrow’s game against the Ravens. The 23-year-old will now miss at least the next four weeks of the season, one which has only six contests remaining for Denver.

Hamler entered the league with considerable potential as a deep threat given his time at Penn State, but injuries have been a constant to begin his NFL career. The 2020 second-rounder has played in 23 games to date, logging a snap share above 50% only in his rookie season. His 14.8 yards-per-reception average demonstrates his vertical speed when healthy, but those times have been too few and far between for him to allow for much in the way of development.

With Hamler now sidelined, the Broncos have a league-leading 15 players on IR. Their WR corps has been significantly affected by the team’s overall injury woes, with Tim Patrick going down for the season and Jerry Jeudy missing the past two games. With the latter being a game-time decision for Week 13, Denver’s 18th-ranked passing attack could continue to be shorthanded. To little surprise given that uncertainty, Denver has officially signed wideout Brandon Johnson to the active roster after elevating the rookie from the practice squad for two consecutive weeks.

In more positive injury news, the Broncos used the open roster spot to activate running back Mike Boone. He has missed the past four games, but will now step into a rotational role in the team’s new-look backfield alongside veterans Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack. The former UDFA has averaged 5.5 yards per carry over the course of his career, albeit in a limited workload.

The 3-8 Broncos will likely be forced to use a ground-heavy attack against the Ravens on Sunday, given their banged-up WR room, though Baltimore’s defensive strength has come on the ground. With improvement on offense likely being needed in the coming weeks to avoid a coaching change, Hamler will play little (if any) part in it given today’s move.