As we know, Broncos' number one wide receiver Jerry Jeudy will be out “several weeks” due to a hamstring injury he suffered during yesterday’s training camp practice. With only 17 days left until the start of the regular season opener vs. the Las Vegas Raiders, this injury puts his odds for week one in doubt. Hamstring injuries are known to be tricky and returning from them too early can cause an aggravation and end up sidelining him even longer, so it is unclear when he will be back on the field. This means the Broncos will need the next man up to help replace him in the lineup, and that next man could be rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr.
Marvin Mims will play a lot this week in the third preseason game, per Payton.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 24, 2023
Mims, who the Broncos traded up for and selected in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft now has a chance to be an instant contributor on offense for the team this upcoming season. A hamstring injury he suffered training for training camp did sideline him for about a week, but the explosive wide receiver now has a chance to be the next man up.
After yesterday’s practice, head coach Sean Payton noted that Mims had a better day because of a cleat change and noted that the rookie will play “quite a bit” in the preseason finale.
“He was better today. I think he’s making progress. This field is a little slick. He changed up his shoes today, and I thought that helped him. You see it on tape—a lot of players sliding. We got into a little bit longer cleat, and I think he had better footing. He’s doing well. It’s good to have him getting all these practice snaps and these punts returns. He’ll play quite a bit on Saturday.”
Mims missed the preseason opener and only had one catch vs. the 49ers, so it will be interesting to see if the team forces the ball his way a little more in this one. They need to see how he’ll do during game action and this will be the last test run they will have before things start to count in a little over two weeks from now.
Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was asked if he believes Mims can step up and fill a role within the receiving room. He told reporters that they have been impressed with him since he came back from injury and that they are “really optimistic about him”.
“Yeah, for sure. He was hurt the first couple of weeks of camp, but since he has been back, we have been impressed with him. Hopefully, he keeps developing and keeps performing as he has. We are really optimistic about him.”
With him expected to play a lot vs. the Rams, all eyes will be on him during the finale. If he goes and has a big game, it will help ease the concerns some have with Jeudy sidelined. Sean Payton also has a great track record of developing young receivers in his offense. On top of that, Mims has a ton of talent, so we could be on the verge of a breakout year for him. I say this because he likely starts the season as the Broncos' number two or three receiver now and will see significant snaps either way. He gives them a reliable deep threat and someone they can take deep shots to off play-action which figures to be an important aspect to the Broncos offense this season.
So, while it sucks that Jeudy will be sidelined for a bit, it could give rookie Marvin Mims Jr. the opportunity he needs to have a breakout year this upcoming season for the Broncos.