Fans will have to wait to see the Denver Broncos second-round draftee Cody Latimer in action. It was announced on Wednesday that the rookie wide out would be a limited participant in the summer workouts while he recovers from a broken foot. The Broncos expect the receiver from Indiana to be 100 percent by the start of training camp.
Latimer underwent surgery in January to repair his fractured fifth metatarsal. Due to the extent of this injury, Latimer was forced to miss every event of the NFL Combine except for the bench press. Meanwhile, at Indiana’s Pro Day in late March, he was able to post lightning fast 40-yard dash times of 4.39 and 4.43 despite his injured foot. Had he been a full participant in the Combine, Latimer would have quite possibly been drafted in the first round, perhaps beyond the reach of the Broncos’ draft selections.
This is the third instance in the last few years where Denver has drafted a banged-up wide receiver. In 2010, both Demaryius Thomas (broken foot) and Eric Decker (sprained Lisfranc) were drafted by the Broncos despite their injuries. Each receiver had fairly lackluster rookie seasons, but emerged as stars the following year. Thomas has since become Peyton Manning’s favorite target while Decker earned his big payday with the New York Jets.
Latimer was somewhat of a surprise pick. Considering that the Broncos receivers broke all kinds of records last year and replaced the departed Decker with Emmanuel Sanders, Denver wasn’t in a huge need for a wide receiver. With the selection, the Broncos are probably worried about two things: Wes Welker not being able to make it through the whole year and Thomas becoming a free agent at the end of next season. It will be interesting to see where Latimer lands on the depth chart, but he’s not a bad option for Manning at the fourth or fifth receiver slot.