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2020 Denver Broncos Team Preview: Offense
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Phillip Lindsay is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and has shown the Denver Broncos time-and-time again why he should be the team’s No. 1 running back. Yet Denver decided to sign Melvin Gordon to a two-year deal, giving him $16 million to assume the top running back role. 

Sitting next to Gordon in the running back room isn’t going to motivate Lindsay. Being an undrafted free agent and passed over by every team took care of that.

“I’ve had the same fire from the first time I stepped out here to now,” Lindsay said, via Kyle Newman of The Denver Post. “I don’t need another man to fuel my fire. … For me, honestly nothing changes. I go out there and I produce when my number’s called. I make big plays like I always have.”

Lindsay has had to battle for his job before with Royce Freeman, who was drafted in the third round the same year Lindsay went undrafted (2018). The Broncos also tried to protect their investment in Devontae Booker, a 2016 fourth-round pick that Lindsay passed on the depth chart. Lindsay has rushed for 2,048 yards and 16 touchdowns in two seasons, averaging 4.92 yards per carry (third amongst running backs that recorded over 400 carries). 

Lindsay actually has more 1,000-yard seasons than Gordon (two to one), even though Gordon is tied for sixth in touchdown runs (18) over the past two seasons, despite playing just 24 games. Gordon has rushed for 4,240 yards and 36 touchdowns in five NFL seasons, averaging 4.0 yards per carry. 

Denver is going to give Gordon every opportunity to start based on the contract the front office gave him. Gordon has an edge in the pass catching department, having 92 receptions and five touchdowns over the past two years to Lindsay’s 70 catches and one score. That may end up being the determining factor on which back gets more snaps. 

“Pass-catching wise, I feel really good and like I’m pretty much back to myself,” Lindsay said. “At the end of the day, I’m going to catch every ball that comes my way.”

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