Greg Dulcich draws high praise (and potentially leapfrogs Albert Okwuegbunam on depth chart) following NFL debut


If Monday’s primetime loss to the Chargers is any indication, the Broncos have a new No. 1 tight end.

Greg Dulcich, who began the season on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, made his first NFL start at SoFi Stadium. The rookie had two catches for 44 yards and a touchdown while Albert Okwuegbunam — the presumed successor to Noah Fant, who was traded to Seattle in March in the deal for Russell Wilson — was inactive.

While Dulcich seized the moment, Okwuegbunam stood on the sideline in sweats, which could be a bad sign for the latter player with the NFL trade deadline approaching on Nov. 1.

“As far as tight end debuts, that was really good, because you can see on tape he’s explosive, fast and decisive,” tight end Eric Saubert pointed out. “He’s sort of playing beyond his years already.”

Dulcich’s performance was one of the few highlights for the Denver offense in a Week 6 game defined by the unit’s second-half (and overtime) fizzle. Dulcich, Denver’s third-round pick out of UCLA this year, had a five-yard catch on the second drive of the game and then punctuated that possession with a 39-yard touchdown catch to put the Broncos up 10-0.

On the score Dulcich ran a go route down the numbers on the right side of the field, and the Chargers lost track of him. He caught the ball at the 15 and ran it in untouched for the score.

“KJ (Hamler) got me open,” Dulcich said. “He pulls the corner out of the way, and Russ put it on me, so all I’ve got to do is catch the ball there. If I drop that one, I might as well not be here.”

Dulcich called his NFL debut “special,” in part because his family was in the stands and also because of the wait he had to get back on the field. Dulcich hurt his hamstring early in training camp, sat out a few weeks, and then hurt it again trying to come back. That led to him spending the first five games of the season on injured reserve before being activated.


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