Early in the third quarter of the Denver Broncos' Week 1 road bout vs. the New York Giants, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dropped back to pass and uncorked a 50-yard bomb to second-year wideout KJ Hamler.
It was promptly dropped — despite Hamler having a couple steps on the Giants' defensive back.
The ball slipped through Hamler's hands and what would have been an explosive touchdown instead turned into bitter disappointment. That feeling only intensified a few plays later when fellow second-year wideout Jerry Jeudy was injured after catching a 20-yard pass on third down.
Hamler admitted on Wednesday that he blamed himself for Jeudy's injury for a time.
"It’s messed up that Jerry has to go through this right now," Hamler said. "At the time, I was putting his injury on me, because if I would’ve caught that ‘tud’ that probably would’ve never happened. I can’t say that, necessarily. But we’re all wishing Jerry a speedy recovery.”
Hindsight is always 20/20 and human beings can agonize over woulda, shoulda, coulda situations. Fortunately for Jeudy, he'll be able to return this season and contribute to what is shaping up to be a different Broncos football team. The team expects him to miss six weeks.
Not long after Bridgewater was named the starting quarterback, Hamler arrived in the facility to find that his locker had been moved... right next to Teddy's.
“Teddy has been awesome and amazing, like a big brother to me," Hamler said. "He told the guys to move my locker next to him just so he can take me under his wing. I never had that before. I’ve never been next to my quarterback.”
So far, so good for Hamler and Bridgewater. Missing out on that touchdown at MetLife Stadium sucked but it's not something Hamler can afford to carry with him. He's got to move on to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Bridgewater's veteran intangibles should help him do that.
“Teddy’s a real positive dude," Hamler said. "We could mess up in practice and he’ll come over and coach you right away or he’ll tell you how he wants the routes—stuff like that. So, just being coachable with Teddy, just learning from him... He’s seen a lot, he’s been through a lot. I’ll always listen to him.”
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!