Earlier today, the Denver Broncos announced that they have officially signed former XFL wide receiver Josh Hammond and have placed wide receiver Jalen Virgil on the season-ending injured reserve. If a player is placed on the injured reserve before the roster cut-down period, they are not eligible to return from the injured reserve, and their season is now done.
Virgil hurt himself in the closing seconds of the first half of this past weekend's preseason game vs. the 49ers. He hauled in a Jarrett Stidham pass and took it 50 yards before being tackled right before the goal line. Virgil stood up to argue that he scored a touchdown but quickly collapsed to the ground and was later carted to the locker room. It was later reported that Virgil suffered a meniscus injury in his knee but his ACL was intact and he would be sidelined for an extended period of time. There was some hope that he would return this season, but now with the Broncos placing him on the injured reserve now, he is done for the year.
This is a tough break for the Broncos' speedy second-year wide receiver. He looked to be on the verge of making the 53-man roster for a second straight year and was making plays during the preseason. Unfortunately, this is just another tough blow to the Broncos receiving room that now has lost Tim Patrick (Achilles), K.J. Hamler (waived/heart condition), and now Virgil to a knee injury.
Hammond is a 6-0, 194-pound wide receiver who played for the DC Defenders, an XFL team this past year. Before that, he was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent during the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season in their practice squad and was signed to a reserve/future contract at the end of the season. He was waived by the Jaguars later that year and was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles later that year but was waived before the start of training camp. The New England Patriots signed him last August but he was among their final cuts. He was not signed to an NFL practice squad and remained un-signed until this past November when he signed a contract to join the DC Defenders of the XFL. Now, he joins the Broncos and adds some depth to the receiving position for the remainder preseason game but is likely a long shot to make the team.
I would expect the Broncos to address their receiving depth during the cut down period, They have lost too many pieces and need to add some talent to the back end of their room,