During training camp last season, Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick suffered a season-ending torn ACL after catching a pass from Russell Wilson down the sideline. Now, he’s back and ready to be better than ever after getting his knee repaired by a renowned sports medicine specialist.
Speaking to the local media on June 13, Patrick explained why he chose Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who is team physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Rams, to perform surgery on his injured knee.
“He did Joe Burrow’s and Nick Bosa’s (knee injuries) and both that next year, they were Comeback Player of the Year. That was my decision of going to him because the guys he has done recently have come back better than they were before,” Patrick said. Burrow, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback won the 2021 Comeback Player of the Year after tearing his ACL in November 2020. Bosa, of the San Francisco 49ers, also tore his ACL in 2020 but received no votes for the 2021 award.
Patrick, 28, also mentioned that he has plenty to prove to everyone.
“I’ve always got something to prove,” Patrick said. “I think my whole mindset is just being a better version of myself. I see some of the stuff you guys say and handicap you your first year, and then second year is the best year. I throw all that out the window. My best year’s going to be right after.”
Fellow receiver Jerry Jeudy said he knew it meant a lot to have Patrick back out on the practice field during OTAs.
“It’s great just having Tim back out there,” Jeudy said. “His energy, the big playmaking ability he has and just having another great receiver out there with you is a big deal.”
Tim Patrick Is Learning From a Distance
The former Utah Ute is not the only Broncos wide receiver who has dealt with a torn ACL in recent years. Teammates Courtland Sutton and K.J. Hamler have had to deal with the same injury and Patrick is using them as inspiration.
In 2020, Sutton suffered a torn ACL during Denver’s Week 2 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season.
In 2021, Hamler tore his ACL in Week 3 against the New York Jets.
Patrick mentioned that he is having Hamler live with him during the offseason because it will benefit both of them as they recover from injuries.
“I feel like I’m a good routine guy, and I felt like I just wanted him to get on my routine to help him be able to achieve the goals he wants to achieve in the NFL,” Patrick said. “It always starts with your routine, and I felt like if we both got on the same routine, we could help each other out.”
Not only is Patrick being inspired from teammates who’ve suffered torn ACLs, but he’s also been inspired by a certain Denver Nugget who just won an NBA championship.
“Another guy — Jamal Murray, ACL — and to be able to prove people wrong and how he came back as a better player than he was before and to be able to win the whole thing was huge.” Patrick continued, “It was a good sight to see from somebody that’s playing in the same city as you that went through the same thing you did and now, he’s on the mountain top. It’s definitely motivation seeing him win.”
Tim Patrick Has Been the Most Reliable WR for Denver
If a Broncos quarterback needed a wide receiver to make a play, they made sure to Patrick.
After being undrafted, Patrick signed on to Denver’s practice squad as a rookie in 2017 but didn’t play that season.
In 2019, Patrick started in 15 games and had his breakout season. Catching 51 passes for 742 yards, Patrick found the end zone six times.
The following season, Patrick added another 734 yards on 53 catches and 5 touchdowns.
Over the last two seasons in which Patrick has played, he leads the Broncos in receiving yards and touchdowns in 31 games.
With a new head coach, new offense and a quarterback needing to bounce back, the Broncos are going to need to rely on Patrick if this team wants to get back to the postseason for the first time since the 2016 Super Bowl.