Broncos beat Vikings as KJ Hamler returns, Baron Browning has scoop-and-score


In the Broncos’ preseason finale on Saturday at Empower Field, fans got a few glimpses of players who will be expected to the contribute to the team’s return to relevancy in 2022.

Wideout KJ Hamler returned from season-ending knee/hip injuries in Week 3 last year, looking game-ready. Rookie Montrell Washington showed his offensive value with a touchdown on a reverse. And Baron Browning, converted from inside to outside linebacker this offseason, had a scoop-and-score.

The end result was a 23-13 win for the Broncos, closing out a 2-1 preseason mark following last week’s beatdown in Buffalo. Denver opens the regular season on Monday Night Football Sept. 12 in Seattle.

The Broncos looked good on their opening drive, but it ended with a red zone interception on Brett Rypien’s deflected pass that was intended for Hamler. The pass was thrown slightly behind Hamler and ended up in the hands of Minnesota linebacker Luiji Vilain.

Hamler played most of Denver’s first three drives. He had three catches for 18 yards on five targets, and also drew a personal foul penalty for a first down. He’s expected to be one of Denver’s three primary wideouts this year along with Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton.

The Broncos took a 3-0 lead on Brandon McManus’ 50-yard field goal on their second drive. Then, the defense appeared to make a goal-line stand against the Vikings, but replay review reversed Denver’s fourth-down stuff, and Minnesota went up 7-3 midway through the second quarter.


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