Tim Patrick's return has encountered an interruption.
The Denver Broncos receiver is believed to have torn his left Achilles tendon during practice Monday, NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo reported on Inside Training Camp Live.
Patrick is expected to undergo surgery in the near future and miss the entirety of the 2023 season, Garafolo added.
The wideout went down with a non-contact injury when taking his first steps off the line of scrimmage during a seven-on-seven drill Monday, per NFL Network's James Palmer, and threw his helmet immediately after falling to the ground. Patrick was carted off and used crutches to enter the facility, Palmer added.
Monday's development is not only unfortunate, but also disheartening. Patrick's tale is one of an underdog who worked his way from the practice squad to a significant role in Denver's offense, finding success -- including consecutive 700-plus-yard receiving seasons and 11 total receiving touchdowns between 2020 and 2021 -- even while the Broncos failed to identify a long-term option at quarterback.
Denver rewarded Patrick for his efforts late in the 2021 season, signing the former undrafted free agent to a three-year, $34.5 million extension that would begin in 2022. The unforgiving injury bug struck soon thereafter, though, with a torn ACL last Aug. 2 ending Patrick's 2022 season before it began.
He's yet to play a regular-season game under that deal, a reality that will extend into 2024 after Monday's events.