Tuesday's NFL: Broncos receiver Tim Patrick suffers torn ACL

By Arnie Stapleton
Associated Press

Englewood, Colo. — The Denver Broncos have lost a top receiver to a torn ACL for a third consecutive season.

Wide receiver Tim Patrick was carted off after catching a pass from Russell Wilson at the Denver Broncos’ training camp practice Tuesday, and a person with knowledge of the diagnosis told The Associated Press that Patrick sustained a season-ending torn ACL.

Broncos receiver Tim Patrick tore his ACL during Tuesday's training camp practice.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither Patrick nor the Broncos provided an update following his MRI.

Patrick’s injury continues a run of misfortune for Denver’s wide receivers. Last year, KJ Hamler blew out a knee in Week 3 and the year before that Courtland Sutton was lost for the season with a torn ACL in Week 2.

Patrick made a leaping grab over cornerback Essang Bassey but his right knee buckled as he made his first move after the catch.

Patrick was taken for an MRI, as was second-year running back Damarea Crockett, who hobbled off with a knee injury earlier in practice. Crockett tweeted that he sustained a torn ACL, ending his season.

Although Tuesday marked the Broncos’ first day in full pads, both were noncontact injuries.

Patrick’s teammates gathered around him when he fell to the grass, offering him encouragement as he was carted off the field.

“Tim is such an impactful person for this team, a leader, a vet,” Sutton said somberly. “He’s the vet that you want to mold your young guys after.”

Patrick signed a three-year, $34 million contract last year in the midst of his best NFL season when he caught 53 passes for 734 yards and five touchdowns.

He and Sutton together would have given Wilson a pair of 6-foot-4 targets. Patrick’s loss hovers as a big blow to the team’s new quarterback and its first-year head coach, Nathaniel Hackett, as they build their offense.

“We can’t replace a guy like that,” safety Kareem Jackson said.

Patrick’s injury is the latest setback to the team’s nicked-up offense.

Tyrie Cleveland left Monday’s practice after getting hit in the throat, Jerry Jeudy has dealt with a string of injuries over the last year, Hamler is making his way back from hip and knee operations and rookie tight end Greg Dulcich has missed all of camp with a pulled hamstring.

Aside from Sutton, there’s not a lot of experience in Denver’s remaining wide receiving corps.

“All of those guys are going to have to rally together,” Hackett said. “It’s part of this game and it’s the worst part of this game is when things like that happen. But it also has to bring your team together. We’ve got to find a way to fill that void.”

Personnel dept.

Bills starting safety Jordan Poyer hyperextended his left elbow and is expected to miss several weeks, a person with direct knowledge of the injury confirmed to the AP.

The person added Poyer should return before the start of the season, and spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Bills have not revealed the nature or severity of the injury.

Poyer was hurt in one of the final team drills of practice earlier in the day, and experienced such pain that he had to be carted away. Poyer grimaced as he laid down on the sideline while being tended to by medical staff. As he was being escorted to the training facility, Poyer bent down and knelt in pain before getting up to sit in a chair to wait for a cart to arrive.

The injury occurred with Poyer seeking a contract extension. The 10th-year player is entering the final season of his current deal and declined to attend the team’s voluntary spring practices.

… Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. will miss the remainder of the preseason after having surgery on his injured thumb.

Coach Kevin O’Connell announced that Smith had the procedure done after getting hurt during practice Monday. He’s on track to return for the first game on Sept. 11 against Green Bay.

Smith missed the entire 2021 season after surgery on his injured knee, and the Vikings are counting on him as their top player at the position this year.

… The Cardinals signed starting left tackle D.J. Humphries to a new contract that will keep him with the team through the 2025 season.

The dependable veteran — who protects franchise quarterback Kyler Murray’s blind side — made his first Pro Bowl last season and has started 48 of 49 regular-season games over the past three seasons. Financial terms of the deal weren’t immediately disclosed.