By JOSH CARNEY
(247SPORTS) – Through two games, the undrafted rookie out of Colorado is lighting up NFL defenses, while taking over starter duties (40 percent of offensive snaps) for the Denver Broncos. In his first two games, Lindsay is out-snapping fellow rookie Royce Freeman (33 percent of offensive snaps) and incumbent veteran Devontae Booker (28 percent of offensive snaps).
In those two games, Lindsay has the third-most rushing yards in the NFL with 178 yards on 29 carries (4.9 yards per carry), and has 35 receiving yards and a touchdown through the air on four catches.
What’s been most impressive with Lindsay is his durability, conditioning, balance, and work ethic. If you watched him while at CU, you noticed all of those things and more on every single snap.
The program’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards and second all-time leading rushing in CU history is lighting defenses up one rep at time, and really, it’s a homerun find for John Elway, even if he didn’t have to go very far to find him.
Take Lindsay’s first catch as a Bronco for example. It’s a simple speed out to the flat against Seattle in Week 1. More often than not, you’ll see established running backs jog out into the flat, not really running full speed to stretch the defense. Not Lindsay, though.
As soon as the ball is snapped, Lindsay comes flying out of his spot in the sidecar left of Case Keenum. As he sprints to the flat, notice that nobody on the Seattle Seahawks defense picks him up, making for an easy check-down for his quarterback.
From there, Lindsay catches the ball, turns up field and chews up the 29 yards to the end zone. He’s a blur with the ball in his hands, hence the ‘Tasmanian Devil’ nickname that stuck with him while at CU.
Lindsay treats every rep like it’s his last, and it’s really refreshing to see a running back play that hard down-to-down in the National Football League.
His balance is second-to-none for the position too. Yes, he’s a small back at just 5-foot-8, 190 pounds, but Lindsay is able to maintain a great center of balance because of his size and core strength.
His 11-yard run against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday might not have looked like much, but look at the screenshot below. Somehow, after getting his legs taken out by a defender, he was able to stay on his feet at this angle and move the chains.
What an absurd run.
It might still be early on in the NFL season, but Phillip Lindsay has been quite the find for the Broncos. It’s pretty clear how much the Broncos believe in him.
Aside from being a feel-good story as an undrafted rookie now starting for a playoff contender, he’s turning into one of the top dual-threat backs in football. A star has been born in the Mile High City.