Broncos desperately need rookies Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler to step up

The Broncos are already dealing with several injuries to key players.

The Denver Broncos are facing disaster after only two games in the 2020 season. The bad news started before the season when Von Miller went down with an injury that will hold him out for most of the year. That was before a single game was played.

Now the Broncos are 0-2 and saw Drew Lock go down with a shoulder injury Sunday that is expected to keep him out several weeks. Further news came out that wide receiver Courtland Sutton is now out for the entire season with a torn ACL in what is unfortunately a common injury this year in the league.

Jeff Driskel is in at quarterback for now and the focus on offense turns toward rookies Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler. John Elway spent his first two 2020 draft picks on the receivers and they must step up earlier than expected to save the season.

Broncos relying on the rookie receivers

Jeudy, the No. 15 overall pick, has had a slow start to his career. The rookie has eight receptions for 118 yards and no touchdowns through two games. The Broncos offense hasn’t exactly been explosive, but Jeudy was brought in to be the future at the position alongside Sutton. Losing the latter means extra pressure for Jeudy.

Hamler, the No. 46 overall pick, made his debut Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers and finished with three receptions for 48 yards.

Tight end Noah Fant is the leading pass-catcher so far with 138 yards on nine receptions. Jeudy is second with his totals. In the running game, Melvin Gordon is the only back to have over 100 yards and to receive more than seven carries.

The Broncos entered the season with plenty of hype surrounding Lock and the offense. The team is now 0-2 and Driskel may be the starting for several weeks. Sutton being out for the year drastically changes the plans on offense as well.

But having 14 games remaining means it is far too early to make excuses and call it a year. There are plenty of teams dealing with injuries to stars and that allows other players to step up.

It would be harsh to see the slow starts from Jeudy and Hamler and be too critical. They are rookies who went through the most unique offseason in recent NFL history. However, it is fair to expect them to put up better numbers now that they are bumped up on the depth chart.

Next: Drew Lock heads to locker room after taking hard hit

The Broncos are one of the 11 teams currently sitting with an 0-2 record. Having two top rookie receivers on the depth chart serves as a small bonus amidst all the injuries and overall doom.

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