Phillip Lindsay Quietly Becomes First NFL RB With 450-Plus Career Carries Without Fumbling

Chad Jensen

Since his return from a turf-toe injury suffered in the season-opener, Phillip Lindsay has appeared in three straight games for the Denver Broncos. In that trio of games of which he missed two full quarters due to a concussion, the third-year running back has averaged a whopping 6.92 yards per carry. 

Since entering the league as a college free agent out of Colorado in 2018, Linsday has carried the ball 461 times and is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing campaigns, which is unprecedented for an ex-undrafted rookie. As a bonafide NFL back, Lindsay has established himself as one of the most explosive ball-carriers in the game, as well as one of the most reliable. 

CBS Sports recently uncovered a well-researched stat showcasing just how valuable Lindsay is to the Broncos. He's the only player since the NFL/AFL merger to notch 450-plus carries without ever fumbling the ball. 

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Yeah, wrap your brain around that one. Meanwhile, as Lindsay earns $750K this season, his backfield mate Melvin Gordon will take home north of $7 million. Gordon has already lost three fumbles through seven games this year. 

That's not the only area in which Lindsay has clearly out-shined Gordon. By virtue of the fact that Lindsay missed half of Week 1, all of Weeks 2, 3, and 4, and half of Week 7, Gordon leads the Broncos in rushing with 375 yards to Lindsay's 287, though it's worth mentioning that Gordon did miss Week 6 with strep throat. 

Meanwhile, Lindsay popped off his sixth career 100-yard rushing game that day against the New England Patriots. On the season, Lindsay is averaging a whopping 6.4 yards per carry. It's astonishing. 

Gordon is averaging 4.2. which isn't bad, but it sure ain't 6.4 YPC. In Denver's wild Week 8 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, Lindsay averaged nearly 14 YPC with only six measly totes, with one of them going to the house for 55 yards. 

There's no question that Lindsay is underrated. His touch share in the Broncos' backfield would suggest that he's not only underrated, but maybe even underappreciated, by the team. One thing is certain; if the Broncos are going to establish a consistent offense, it has to run through Lindsay. 

The sooner the coaches figure that out, the better. For now, tip your cap to 'The Colorado Kid', who continues to over-perform and prove his doubters wrong in the NFL. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

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Comments (16)
No. 1-13
Dondada64
Dondada64

That is a phenomenal statistic, Congrats Phillip

BeGoodBroncos
BeGoodBroncos

Wow that's amazing. Congrats is right. Did he fumble any in college ?

sky7713
sky7713

oh my god sports writers actually get paid to write this. this isnt even a true statistic, he is not the first. he is not even the 5th, he is just the only active running back with this statistic. also and i bet you didnt know since you clearly didnt any research outside of reading the tweet from CBS, jamaal williams has 449 without fumbling to start his career, which makes this statistic even more cherry picked in addition to flat out incorrect. holy dogshit get a real job you hack

pootflute
pootflute

The wording in the tweet is accurate but click-baity, the wording in the article is inaccurate. Lindsay is the only player with 450+ carries and 0 career fumbles. There have been other RBs to start with 450+ carries and 0 fumbles, but they eventually fumbled and thus no longer have 0 career fumbles. Still impressive though.

Frankrod1972
Frankrod1972

Put both backs in the backfield that’s not hard to figure out coaches???????!

Gandalf the orange
Gandalf the orange

Meanwhile, Gordon’s fumbling probably cost the Broncos at least one game. I have an idea pay Gordon 7 million per year and Lindsey 700k per year.

Gandalf the orange
Gandalf the orange

Let’s not forget Gordon’s missed block on 4th down that cost denver the opportunity to beat Pittsburg. Gordon, the vet, should have recognized there wasn’t anyone to block the blitzing safety and layed out to stop the blitzer.
Pay Lindsey before we lose him

DadRunAmok
DadRunAmok

This is disappointing and lazy work by you and the site, Chad. It's an amazing stat for sure, but it's not a record of any kind. Lindsay needs 57 more offensive touches to pass Benjarvus Green-Ellis, who I believe is the record holder for the most touches without a fumble to start a career.
Want to talk just rushing attempts and ignore catches/kick returns? Okay. The Law Firm had more than 500 carries in his first four seasons without a fumble.
You guys are better than this, Chad.

sgrindstaff595
sgrindstaff595

Weather it is a record or not, you have to LOVE the Colorado Kid. He plays with a lot of heart and has quite a story on how he became a Bronco. I think Terrell Davis is proud that Lindsay wears his number.

Rcsodak
Rcsodak

Well this article isn't a kiss of death.....

😅

Waltm6$6
Waltm6$6

Pay the kid already.

Mr. Pioneer
Mr. Pioneer

Pay the kid already.

bfs6020
bfs6020

Lindsay has proven over and over that he is the deal and has always given his best, I'm not so sure about Gordon. He has yet to show his value or earn his pay. I think he needs to put up or shut up.


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