ENGLEWOOD (Colo.) — FormerWide receiver Rod Smith once described the struggle of a player recovering from injury as a fight that went well beyond physical pain.
Smith discussed the frustration of wrestling with constant reminders about how such a large investment in time, effort, emotion and money was rarely returned.
Smith said, “All that you know is football, being at the locker room, interacting, laughing with people, arguments, or whatever.” Then you get hurt and it's almost like you're the nightwatchman. Everyone else is doing something different when you are at work. If they are in the practice room, they are at practice. If you're rehabbing they're in meetings. You may not see your team for days after you arrive at work. You don't have the ability to lead, impact or know when you'll get back. This can make you miserable.”
It is not necessary to inform current Broncos wide receivers.None of this. Hamler, a Broncos second-round selection in 2020, was last seen in Week 3. Last season, Hamler played in the second quarter in a 26-0 victory over the Broncos. He leapt to a Pass and he landed awkwardly on the left leg.
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Doctors determined that Hamler had suffered a severe hip injury and had torn his left ACL. Both required surgery and Hamler was soon in recovery.
Although his team tried to keep him occupied, Ethel Gooding, his grandmother and the person he called his “best friend”, died at 83.
Hamler explained that “I was in an awful place for a long time going through that.” “That was probably my most difficult thing. I feel energized now that I am back on the field. Although I can't claim that I'm completely out of the dark places, I am improving. That I can assure you.
“… His grandmother was the one who took care of him more than my mother. I used to go to her for her hair and to get her food whenever I returned home. She was going through many struggles. She was suffering from Parkinson's disease. Even though there were days when I wasn't interested in going to therapy, I thought about her every day. I was able to help her with therapy so I went. Because I knew she would not give up, I did not give up.
Hamler's rehab to football drills and to catching passes as part daily grind was more successful the closer he got to it.
In March, the Broncos signed a quarterback. Hamler has already met Wilson and other pass-catchers in San Diego, and discussed his potential impact on the offense.
Hamler has also spoken toReceiver Wilson has thrown 45 touchdown passes to Hamler, and he is now sharing his thoughts on Wilson's life. That's what has motivated Hamler throughout his recovery.
“I couldn't be” [more] KJ Hamler was the general manager of our building, and he was more impressed than anyone else,” George Paton stated earlier in this offseason. “Significant injury. … Nobody fights, nobody works, and no one is more passionate.
As they progress through Phase 3, which began this week, the Broncos will continue managing Hamler's workload. This is the first time that the team can conduct drills 7-on-7 or 11-on-11.
Although Coach Nathaniel Hackett isn't committing to a recovery schedule for Hamler, he says that what he's doing “is unbelievable.” Hamler used some of his time away from football to build more of a life outside of football. Perhaps that's one advantage of not playing most of last year.
Hamler stated, “I'm a good place.” They sometimes hold me back, but they just want to be safe. I just need to be smart about every decision that I make. I listen to the trainers, the strength staff. I listen to them.
“… It's just playing ball again. If you want to take something you love, you need to plan what you will do. [I'm] It was also about trying to find a football identity. This was the most difficult part of my life because I only know football. A big difference is making new friends, learning new hobbies, and being around people who are positive and bring joy to your day.