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Broncos' Tim Patrick, Damarea Crockett out for the year with ACL injuries

It's the third time in 3 years the Broncos have lost a top receiver to an ACL injury early in season.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick is done for the season before it began after he suffered an ACL injury Tuesday during training camp practice, a source told 9NEWS.

The fifth-year pro made a nice catch while leaping over defender Essang Bassey, came down, took a couple steps, then collapsed in pain as his right knee gave out.

It's the third time in three years the Broncos lost one of their top receivers to an ACL tear early in the season. Patrick follows Courtland Sutton (game 2 of the 2020) and KJ Hamler (2021).

"To watch Tim go down, it hurts,'' Sutton said. "You see a guy who works his butt off all off season. His preparation is second to none. He does everything he's supposed to do to be successful and to see him go down with an injury is very unfortunate.''

None of the players knew that Patrick had suffered an ACL tear by the time practice ended, but they have been around the game long enough to know there was a chance worst fears would be realized.

"Tim and Court are probably one of the reasons I got through what I got through,'' Hamler said. "To see him go down, it's unexplainable. I caught a flashback as soon as he fell.''

As the cart was called to help carry Patrick off the field, many of his teammates came over to wish him well.

> Video below: Broncos players react to Tim Patrick's season-ending injury

Patrick wasn't the only Bronco to suffer a season-ending  ACL injury Tuesday. Running back Damarea Crockett felt his knee go during an early special teams drill and limped off the field with the aid of trainers. Crockett was running down the field on a coverage drill, planted and felt his knee buckle.

Crockett was a preseason workhorse for the Broncos last year, then played in 12 regular-season games as a special teamer. He did finish out a 26-0 win against the Jets in game 3 with 7 yards on 3 carries.

Losing Patrick is a significant blow to the Broncos' offense. Patrick, 28, had a career-high 53 catches last season for 734 yards and 5 touchdowns. This after he compiled 51 catches for 742 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2020. He signed a three-year, $30 million contract extension with the Broncos on Nov. 19, 2021.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos running back Damarea Crockett takes part in drills during the NFL football team's training camp Friday, July 29, 2022,in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

With Patrick down, Jerry Jeudy would move into the No. 2 receiver role next to No. 1 pass catcher Courtland Sutton. No. 3 receiver KJ Hamler is recovering nicely from ACL surgery. Kendall Hinton, Tyrie Cleveland and rookie Montrell Washington would be the next receivers up. Undrafted rookie Kaden Davis, the first player on the practice field each day, caught a 39-yard deep strike from No. 3 quarterback Brett Rypien late in practice to set up a walk-off, 2-yard touchdown pass from Rypien to Washington.

“A guy like Tim, who is such an amazing leader and that has done everything we’ve asked, it breaks your heart because you love him,'' said head coach Nathaniel Hackett. "On the flip side, it gives somebody else an opportunity to really grow and become a great player because that’s what we’re going to need.”

The practice Tuesday was the first in full pads for the Broncos in training camp. Yet neither ACL injury was contact-related.

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