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Broncos WR injuries could turn into opportunity for Rams trade offers

The Los Angeles Rams might actually end up with a surplus at wide receiver

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The last thing that the Denver Broncos needed going into a season where turning around Russell Wilson is the top priority was a rash of injuries around him. But the Broncos got bad news, then more bad news, at the wide receiver position on Monday: Starter Tim Patrick reportedly tore his Achilles in practice, then recent second round pick K.J. Hamler was released with a non-football illness designation because of a heart condition.

Given that Denver will likely need reinforcements, it could turn into an opportunity for the Los Angeles Rams to evaluate which players they like most around Cooper Kupp and whether or not Van Jefferson or Tutu Atwell would be sensible offers in trade.

Patrick is out for the season and by all accounts it seems like Hamler isn’t going to be in the plans in 2023.

The leaves head coach Sean Payton with Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy as his starters, with Jeudy probably filling in at the slot position. The next man up could be rookie second round pick Marvin Mims, but those are big shoes to fill for a first-year player. After him is Kendall Hinton, Marquez Callaway, Michael Bandy, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey, among a few others.

On top of depth issues, Payton has to wonder where the Broncos would be left if Sutton (who missed virtually all of 2020) or Jeudy (missed seven games in the last two years) were to miss multiple starts at any point this season.

The Rams may have many questions to answer on defense and the offensive line, but could actually have a mild surplus at wide receiver. What if the team ends up really liking fifth round pick Puka Nacua as an immediate contributor? Then Sean McVay might be fine rolling into the season with Kupp, Nacua, Ben Skowronek, Demarcus Robinson, and Tutu Atwell as the team’s top five options.

Jefferson would be almost an ideal fit to replace Patrick.

On the other hand, if Jefferson is too important, Atwell basically fits the mold of a K.J. Hamler type.

It’s safe to say that Kupp, Nacua, Skowronek, and even Robinson look to be locks for the final roster. We assume that Van and Tutu are in that conversation also, but would having six receivers just be an opportunity to have five? What if Lance McCutcheon or Austin Trammell were to make the roster?

I wouldn’t expect the trade return on Jefferson or Atwell to be massive, but the Broncos do have an extra fifth round pick in 2024. That’s the type of return I might expect for Jefferson, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He can either prove himself on the Rams and earn a new deal with L.A. next offseason.

Or maybe help the Rams in a different way.