The Denver Broncos were dealt another bad hand of injuries to two key players on offense and defense.

Denver Broncos deal with two key injuries in Sunday’s loss

Sunday’s season opener for the Denver Broncos was frustrating after they lost to the Las Vegas Raiders. While adjustments will be made schematically that will help them going forward, they’ll be without two key players; one for the season and one for several weeks.

Greg Dulcich injury serves a huge blow to Denver Broncos tight end room

Greg Dulcich has the size and athleticism to become a legitimate threat for the Broncos offense, but Denver will have to manage without him for several weeks.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Dulcich is expected to miss multiple weeks after he injured his hamstring in Sunday’s loss late in the second quarter. It’s the same hamstring that impacted him during OTAs last year, forcing him to miss the first six games of the season and the final two games of last year.

It’s unclear whether or not this means that he’ll be week-to-week or have a stint on short-term injured reserve. Regardless, the Broncos offense will feel the impact of Dulcich’s injury because of his projected role inside Sean Payton’s offense.

The Broncos’ tight end room currently consists of veteran Adam Trautman, Chris Manhertz, and undrafted rookie free agent Nate Adkins.

Trautman has proved to be a reliable pass-catching option for Russell Wilson, but Dulcich’s injury leaves that position room lacking speed.

Former New Orleans Saints tight end Lucas Krull, who has no prior affiliation to Sean Payton, could be activated to the 53-man roster or elevated from the practice squad on gameday in Week 2.

Payton has experienced adversity like this during his time with the Saints and has always managed to find a way to adapt his scheme to the personnel he has, even with key guys missing.

Caden Sterns will miss the entire season

The Denver Broncos defense suffered the blow of losing Caden Sterns for the remainder of the season. Sterns went down on his second game snap against the Raiders on Sunday, landing knee-first on the ground on a tackle attempt on Josh Jacobs.

He was writhing in pain and was visibly frustrated as the medical staff tended to him. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Sterns would miss the entirety of this season after tearing his patella tendon.

This season, the emerging safety was primed for a pivotal role in the Broncos’ defense under Vance Joseph. Sterns has been an ascending player who overcame having his hip surgically repaired last season despite playing with it torn.

He’s put in an incredible amount of work this offseason and was primed to be a starter opposite of Justin Simmons. Players inside the locker room know how much time and energy he’s spent rehabbing in the offseason to prepare himself for this season and were gutted for him after the game.

He’ll go on injured reserve which will allow the Broncos to make a personnel move, but Denver’s secondary has some questions with Sterns now set to miss the remainder of the year.

Veteran P.J. Locke is already on short-term IR and will be eligible to return in Week 5. Simmons, veteran Kareem Jackson, Delarrin Turner-Yell, and sixth-round rookie JL Skinner make up the remaining players available.

The Broncos can’t afford to sustain another injury at the position, mainly due to the lack of experience behind Simmons and Jackson.

Denver could elevate practice squad safety Devon Key as a potential gameday activation or promote him to the active roster.

Worst case scenario, the Broncos could move Essang Bassey to safety and start Ja’Quan McMillian inside the nickel if any other injuries impact the position.

Denver will be back on the practice field on Wednesday as they shift their focus on the Washington Commanders for Week 2.