After Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick tore his ACL last week, head coach Nathaniel Hackett said there was an opportunity for “somebody to step up” into a bigger offensive role.
There are wideouts like KJ Hamler and Kendall Hinton competing for roles in the offense, but there’s also the possibility of using tight ends in different capacities. 2020 fourth-round pick Albert Okwuegbunam‘s combination of size and speed has made him both a red zone target and a player that the Broncos try to get the ball in space over his first two seasons, although there have been more flashes of production than consistent playmaking.
Based on Hackett’s comments on Tuesday, the team is looking for as many ways as possible to elicit more from Okwuegbunam this fall.
“Earlier on in OTAs, picking up the system took him a while,” Hackett said, via 104.3 The Fan. “He’s been absolutely splendid going out there right now. He’s been going out there and we’ve been putting him all over the place, from motioning, playing wide, playing ‘F’ and doing all kinds of different things.”
Okwuegbunam is unlikely to be the only answer to filling the void left by Patrick’s injury, but if he proves up to the versatile role the Broncos have in mind they will probably miss the receiver a lot less in the coming months.