Melvin Gordon sat out Saturday's preseason-opening win over the Minnesota Vikings, and not merely because he was a healthy scratch.
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio revealed after the game that the team's presumed starting running back recently suffered a groin injury. The injury is believed to be minor.
"He hurt his groin just a little bit the other day. I don't think it's anything serious," Fangio said.
Entering a contract year, Gordon was among several notable Broncos — including Von Miller, Courtland Sutton, Bradley Chubb, and Justin Simmons — who were missing in action against Minnesota as Fangio opted to rest his biggest names following two intense days of joint training camp practices.
Second-round rookie Javonte Williams operated as the RB1 in Gordon's absence, and "didn't disappoint" given the opportunity, averaging 5.8 yards per carry on five punishing totes amid Denver's 33-6 victory.
"Was anxious to see him because you can look at running backs all you want in practice and they can do good and get better," Fangio said. "But ultimately the number one job of a running back is to be able to make people miss or break tackles. And he was able to do that. And you could only find that in a game. So I was really anxious to see him, and obviously he didn't disappoint."
With Mike Boone also sidelined, the Broncos' backfield consisted of Williams, Royce Freeman (33 rushing yards), LeVante Bellamy (2), and Damarea Crockett (59).
Williams should continue to shoulder the load for as long as Gordon remains dinged-up — and perhaps for good if his unignorable play continues.
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