Broncos' RB Phillip Lindsay Fires off Mysterious Tweet

Chad Jensen

Phillip Lindsay is on the doorstep of yet another season where he's going to have to prove himself and fight for what is his. It's the life of a former college free agent. There is no draft pedigree by which he can rest on his laurels and even if there was, that's not Lindsay's style. 

Every NFL player has to prove himself each year and justify his place on the team but that road is a little easier when a team has a draft pick invested in a guy, or many tens of millions of dollars. Those with such a pedigree often are given every chance to succeed by their respective teams. 

Despite Lindsay fighting for and earning a roster spot as an undrafted rookie back in 2018 and going on to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in the ensuing years (only four Broncos running backs have done that, ever), inexplicably, heading into his third year, he'll be pitted in a roster battle to maintain his RB1 status. 

The Broncos went out and paid ex-Chargers' RB and former first-rounder Melvin Gordon $16 million over two years this past March. It came just a couple months after GM John Elway said he would be considering giving Lindsay an extension since the former Colorado Buffalo had already out-played his bottom-of-the-ladder rookie contract. 

Instead, Lindsay watched as money that he likely felt would go to him get funneled into Gordon's purse instead. Lindsay has since come out and admitted his disappointment and initial anger at Elway's decision, and made it clear that while he welcomes Gordon as a teammate, he's not about to just curl up and die. 

Just this past Tuesday, Lindsay sent a cryptic tweet that many interpreted as a state of unrest and anticipation for the coming roster battle with Gordon this summer. 

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I decided to write this article after several Mile High Huddle readers reached out to me on social media to ask what Lindsay's tweet meant. I don't know exactly but my intuition is that it's foreshadowing of what's to come when training camp rolls around and perhaps a little window into Lindsay's mindset. 

After the initial sting of the Gordon deal subsided, Lindsay's formed a new, mature outlook that belied his relative youth. 

"It caught me off-guard because it was like, 'Okay, I've put in the work and done all this' and it makes it seem like they don't respect you enough to know the work you're putting in," Lindsay told Terrell Davis. "So I was really upset at the beginning, I'm not going to lie.

"But then I started to think—and I'm like, 'okay, the thing is this'—if something happens to me or something happens to him, it's hard. When I wasn't in the game, stuff was not going as well or smooth. But if you have somebody that can complement me like I did my rookie year where I'm not just running up the middle trying to get first downs all day. I was like, 'Okay, this takes some pressure off me. Now I can do my job and use my speed do my stuff and stay healthier, too.'"

Since Lindsay uttered these words to Terrell Davis on Instagram Live, the Broncos' running back has likely been unable to avoid all the bold predictions and stat projections for Gordon from the national perspective. It's understandable that Gordon has built up some national hype — just follow the money. Those are the players who traditionally get the ball in the NFL. 

But Lindsay's tweet is a good example of those same national voices completely underestimating Lindsay's heart. Dating back to his high school days and spanning all the way to the present, no running back that has crossed Lindsay's orbit has ever been able to keep him 1.) off the field and 2.) from being the RB1. 

Will Gordon be the first back to vanquish Lindsay and relegate him to a supporting role? Some people believe so. Some believe the Broncos will set the board in Gordon's favor so as to ensure that Lindsay takes a back seat. 

Not me. I'll believe that when I see it. I'm not about to sell Lindsay short after everything I've seen him accomplish in two years in the Orange and Blue. 

This is Lindsay's team as evidenced by his dedicated attendance at the workout sessions with Drew Lock and the Broncos' offense away from the team facility. You know who hasn't been at those workouts? I'll give you a hint; his initials are M.G. 

Bet against Phillip Lindsay and you will lose. Ask Freeman, Royce circa 2018. You'd think the Broncos' brass would have figured this out themselves by now. 

OC Pat Shurmur believes there's enough for both backs to eat in his system and he's probably right. But every depth chart has a pecking order. Only time will tell how the Broncos' RB situation will shake out but, again, if I'm putting my chips on one dude, I'd be remiss not to push 'em all in on the Colorado Kid. 

Alternative Theory

For what it's worth, Lindsay's tweet could have been him making an observation about all the talent now loaded on the Broncos' offense. There's been a lot of hype imbued into this unit and there's a chance the Broncos might have a hard time living up to it on the grid-iron. 

Excitement is in the air and Lindsay could be trying to temper those suddenly Mile High expectations. Maybe he was saying that potential never pays the bills; only production. 

I can't say for sure but I have my suspicions, as you've deduced by now. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

THANKS FOR READING MILE HIGH HUDDLE
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Comments (25)
No. 1-16
BroncoJ
BroncoJ

I think the last paragraph is the most likely meaning. That’s the first thing I thought. I guess writers have to invent something to write about. Lots of speculation but then cover their ass in the last paragraph to make them appear objective.

Rcsodak
Rcsodak

Hmmm....tweeted just after noon......I surmise they are talking ext

Denverkewl
Denverkewl

Lindsay needs to focus on the several shortcomings of his job. Which are the real reasons he hasn't yet got paid. Hey he IS a great play maker, but yardage is just one part of the job to get paid big money. You guys, time it and again, ignore this or are dismissive of it because of your man crush. I trust he will make a strong effort to catch the damn ball, run routes, pass pro and not make short yardage on 3rd down. You guys say no biggie he can be taught/coached that. Well, Mr. Playmaker didn't learn it last year, didn't improve his game in those areas when given the chance - so when it comes to PAYING him...you now can say he will for sure get it this time? Isn't that what u gripe about Bolles for? Plus, Lindsay had surgery - again on his wrist at a time when the team had to make a decision. Who says he can catch now? What if he bangs his hand again - you gonna throw him under the bus like you have Callahan? You have to research and find out that wrist injury in career ending in some cases. Career ending. Takes 12 months or more to heal and my guess is Greek warned Elway about it but they don't want the league to be clued in. So if Superman is so good, why did he lead the team in drops - some critical? You say he and Gordon have same YPC but if ignore the vast difference in the red zone - ya know where it actually counts. I wish you guys would deep dive this and stop with emotional arguments. I don't know why Elway made the statement he did about looking to pay Lindsay...this is the time about when that might happen. So give the kid a bunch of incentives - he is RFA next year. Let's just get honest about the shortcomings in his game he as to fix to get big money...he doesn't have to fix to get average money - but then he will always be a No.2 guy. You don't pay a guy that has so many issues until he proves it - you know that. Scangs did Lindsay no favors exposing him with plays Freeman should have run but expose him he did. Oh - and he HASN'T done all that's been asked of him or we wouldn't be talking about it and Gordon wouldn't be here. He needs to realize that, get off social media, look in the mirror and just fix his game so he can truly be Sproles elite....

Studlee14
Studlee14

Lindsay was never meant to be a true RB1. Ideally he should be getting 15 Carries a game, 20 touches at the most. He may be a playmaker, but he is diminutive in pass protection and in the redzone. The Broncos brought Gordon in because of his efficiency at scoring touchdowns. Lindsay could run for another 1000 yards this year but if he isnt scoring it's not good enough. The only stats that matter are points that go up on the scoreboard.

debil orange
debil orange

Here we go again. Another attempt made by an SI media type to stir up more controversy than what actually exists! Of course Philip was upset about the signing of Gordon. He is also a young man that has demonstrated time and again that he is very capable of handling adversity. There have been a whole lot of articles and posts by the media that Lindsay is too small and cannot take the weekly beating he gets. Philip knows this and the Gordon/Lindsay or Lindsay/Gordon combination will work just fine. If they can stay reasonably healthy I feel it is going to work better than just fine. Go find something else to sensationalize for your posts!

JoeybagOdonuts
JoeybagOdonuts

Part of me wonders why Elway would even suggest a pay raise for Lindsay seems like he put his foot in his mouth a bit after signing Gordon. It's a stretch but what if Elway has orchestrated all of this intentionally knowing how it would effect Lindsay. He has continued to persevere with the odds against him maybe Elway wanted to keep that narrative going. If so $16 million was an expensive price to stack another chip on Lindsay's shoulder plus, this type of manipulation seems out of character for Elway.

bfs6020
bfs6020

I think Philip will have another great year and get the contract he deserves when all is said and done. I don't think the Broncos have any doubts about what he can and has done this far. All good things come to those who wait!

Frankiebaby74
Frankiebaby74

Awesome respond by this fan.I feel when you do your job as a RB like Lindsay just keep on doing the right thing for you n your team n don't worry about the $$$$$.$$ you will be there as a elite RB for the Denver Broncos n Broncos Country fan too n you will see that you're a great player n keep on doing the makes you love this game of football in the NFL n we know you can do it.Don't worry too much Okay .Have a tought heart n just enjoy your football career with your teammates n do what you best n give 110% effort every game when you get that ball n will be watching you on TV like millions I f Broncos fan too.Let"s Go Broncos !!! .

xecutioner
xecutioner

😴😴🙈

DKMI
DKMI

The bold predictions aren’t from national publications. They’re from fan sites like this.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

All the fans love Lindsay because of his heart and because of his underdog status, but he is not a complete back. Size he will never change. That limits his blocking ability on pass plays. Also, he has to grow in the pass catching department. If he had those two components on his resume, M.G. probably would not be a Bronco and Lindsay would have a much bigger salary. He deserves a raise no doubt, but he probably will never earn what M.G. earns. Lindsay working out with Lock shows he knows he has to fight for his place on the team. M.G. on the other hand has a secure lock on his position as RB1. Barring injury, that will not change. Lindsay can earn a bigger payday if he does well this year, and I hope he does. He is right that having M.G. extends his lifetime in the NFL because he doesn't have to be the bell cow when his body is not built for it.

Daussamp
Daussamp

Every preserved roadblock in my life has made me stronger. The tweet is to himself. Im a fan of his resolve

RBA
RBA

Instead of deciding what he meant, why not ask him Chad? I hate this thing that "journalists" do so regularly these days. Paraphrase or interpret something someone says and then attack or defend him according to their interpretation. Happens to the president regularly and now seeps down to athletes. Ask him what he meant for heaven's sake! Be a journalist and work to find out the truth instead of making it up.

Player2
Player2

I like Lindsay, what a story, from a non Draft player to Prime time. He will learn how to catch passes and will prove it. Lets pay him Now.

ladybugg1
ladybugg1

Get Um Phil!! You would think they would know better. Just do you!!

azrugger
azrugger

When you have an opportunity to grab a back like MG you take it, and it's no slight to Lindsay. Bringing in MG improves the Broncos RB situation in multiple ways, shared workload, complementary running styles, etc, but not least of which is how much it will push Lindsay to improve. Lyndsay has shown over and over (high school, college, NFL) that he rises to the challenge. It's why he is so beloved. As others have stated Phil is not a complete back and has some definite holes in his game, but I think this has been a brilliant move by Elway. It goes back to the old Bill Parcells addage, "once a player player shows you who he is, believe him." So when Lindsay responds the way we (and everyone else) all KNOW he will, we'll appreciate the move and also MG as the crucial catalyst to Phil's continued evolution. That's why I'm expecting a monster year out of Lindsay and for him to again prove his RB1 status.


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