Skip to main content

5 RBs Broncos Could Target to Avoid Melvin Gordon Fumbling

Here's how the Denver Broncos could get by while Javonte Williams is hurt.

Losing to the Las Vegas Raiders sucks for the Denver Broncos. The Broncos would have held the top spot in the AFC West if they'd found a way to win on Sunday in Las Vegas, but, instead, they let the game slip through their hands, 32-23. 

Worse yet, the Broncos suffered an injury to their top running back Javonte Williams, who went down with a knee injury and was seen leaving the locker room on crutches after the game. That isn't a good sign for Thursday night's tilt vs. the Indianapolis Colts, especially with the other issues Denver has at running back. 

Backup Melvin Gordon has fumbled four times in four weeks. Against the Raiders, his fumble turned the tide, after it was scooped up by a defender and returned to the house. The Broncos' offense never recovered. Gordon's first fumble of the season, on the goal-line in Week 1, cost the Broncos points and a potential win. 

Whatever the source of Gordon's ball-security problem might be, the Broncos have not played good enough football to live with that risk. Denver also can't afford to trust Gordon to correct the issue with its next game coming on a short week. 

The Broncos need to find another solution at running back with Williams injured. 

Some have hoped that maybe Mike Boone would be the answer, but he dropped two passes against the Raiders and failed a blitz pickup for the first sack of the game. While he ran the ball alright, you cannot trust Boone to do anything else. 

What happens next on the Broncos? Don't miss out on any news and analysis! Take a second, sign up for our free newsletter, and get breaking Broncos news delivered to your inbox daily!

So what can the Broncos do? They have a short turnaround with the Colts coming to Denver for Thursday Night Football. The Broncos will likely be without their top running back, and it's hard to trust these backups. 

The Broncos don't have enough time to bring in new blood, but they may be forced to do so. That includes calling up Devine Ozigbo off the practice squad and looking at available players. 

What are some outside options? 

Phillip Lindsay | Indianapolis Colts

One option Broncos Country has been asking for is Phillip Lindsay, who is currently on the Colts' practice squad. While Lindsay has his issues as a player and has bounced around the NFL since he left the Broncos, he has never fumbled in his career. 

While the Broncos' coaching staff is new, as is the scheme, running back is the easiest position to get players up to speed. Lindsay already has familiarity with multiple players on the Broncos, which could be beneficial in getting him up to speed. 

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Tevin Coleman | San Francisco 49ers

There are veteran options besides Lindsay, like Tevin Coleman off of the Nienrs' practice squad. He's a fit for an outside zone scheme, but Denver's rushing offense has been a lot of inside gap. 

DeVonta Freeman | Baltimore Ravens

Freeman stepped in for the Ravens last season and was solid for them. So maybe he could be an option. 

Caleb Huntley | Atlanta Falcons

Huntley was elevated to Atlanta's gameday roster in Week 4 and had a day, rushing for 56 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. He's inexperienced, though, having gone undrafted in 2021

Update: The Falcons signed Huntley to the 53-man roster on Monday. 

Tyler Goodson | Green Bay Packers

If you want someone who is more familiar with the scheme, then someone like Goodson from Green Bay's practice squad might work. He had a good showing for the Packers in the preseason, but this would be a big jump for the rookie.

Goodson would be learning new verbiage and have a lot asked of him on such a short week, which would be even shorter with having to bring him in and likely having two days of practice. 

The Obstacle

The issue is this is a short week, and Denver can't afford to drop this game to the Colts. It would be hard to trust Gordon and Boone with their fumbles and drops, but this coaching staff doesn't have much choice but to roll the dice. 

All fans can do is hope Gordon holds onto the ball, Boone doesn't drop passes or whiff in pass protection, and Ozigbo gets called up and has a good day. 

Not having Williams will hurt, especially if it's for an extended amount of time. 


Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.

Follow Mile High Huddle on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!