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Broncos waive KJ Hamler with NFI designation after WR diagnosed with pericarditis

The Broncos waived WR KJ Hamler with a non-football illness designation on Monday, per the league transaction wire. The fourth-year wideout posted on Instagram that he felt chest pains while working out prior to the start of training camp and is currently undergoing treatment for pericarditis, a mild heart irritation.

Hamler is expected to miss weeks, not months, per NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo, who initially reported the move. According to Garafolo, the transaction is procedural and designed with an eye toward Denver bringing Hamler back. Had the Broncos placed Hamler on the reserve/non-football injury list, he would've had to miss the entire 2023 season.

"I will be back on the field -- better and stronger than ever -- as soon as possible this season!" Hamler wrote on social media. "I feel great physically and this is very frustrating for me to deal with. I know most of you have heard or know of my story and these past few years what I've been going through on and off the field.

"I'll get past this just like everything else on this journey! I will continue to elevate. I forever stand on business."

The Broncos receiver room suffered another blow on Monday when Tim Patrick went down with a season-ending Achilles tear during practice. Head coach Sean Payton told reporters on Tuesday that there is no date for Patrick's surgery at this time, but the torn ligament was a "really clean" injury in terms of prognosis for a potential repair.

A 2020 second-round pick, Hamler has battled injuries throughout his NFL career, appearing in 10 games the past two years. He suffered a season-ending ACL tear in 2021 during Week 3. In 2022, he caught seven passes for 165 yards through seven games before a hamstring injury knocked him out for the final nine weeks. Earlier this spring, he underwent surgery for a partially torn pectoral muscle.

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