By Justin Adams
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – With the Denver Broncos training camp underway, let’s take a look at each position. Here’s how the Broncos stack up at running back and fullback.
In the Hunt:
Devontae Booker, 4th season
Phillip Lindsay, 2nd season
Royce Freeman, 2nd season
Devontae Jackson, rookie
Khalfani Muhammad, 2nd season
David Williams, 2nd season
Andy Janovich, 4th season
George Aston, rookie
Projected Starters: Phillip Lindsay (Running Back), Andy Janovich (Fullback)
Phillip Lindsay was the Broncos only offensive player selected to the Pro Bowl last season. In the 15 games he played, Lindsay started eight and rushed for 1,037 yards with nine touchdowns. With his blazing speed, Lindsay had the Broncos longest carry of 65 yards, the longest gain since Ronnie Hillman in 2015. Lindsay’s terrific rookie season was cut short with a wrist injury against the Oakland Raiders on Christmas Eve.
Andy Janovich is tabbed as the lead blocker for Lindsay. Last season, Janovich had a career-high in receptions with eight catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Reserves: Royce Freeman, Devontae Booker, Khalfani Muhammad, Devontae Jackson, George Aston
Devontae Booker is playing on the final year on his rookie contract. He’ll have to hold off Khalfani Muhammad and Devontae Jackson to secure his roster spot. Booker was third on the team with 38 receptions last season.
Muhammad spent the final month of the Broncos season on the practice squad last year. George Aston is an undrafted rookie from the University of Pittsburgh.
Best Training Camp Battle: Phillip Lindsay vs Royce Freeman
The starting running back position will be between two second year tailbacks. Last season, Phillip Lindsay took the starting running back spot from Royce Freeman mid-season and didn’t look back. Lindsay’s speed and tenacity helped him rush for 1,037 yards with nine touchdowns en route to becoming the first undrafted offensive rookie in NFL history to make a Pro Bowl.
But Lindsay is coming off a wrist injury that kept him out of the season finale and all of the offseason activities. This could open a door for Freeman who rushed for 521 yards and five touchdowns last season. Freeman is also a bigger back than Lindsay at 229 pounds, which could help him become the Broncos leader in carries this season.
Under the Radar: Devontae Jackson
One player that can defy the odds to make the roster is West Georgia product Devontae Jackson. Standing at 5-7, 170 pounds, he has turned head in offseason practice with his speed. In order for Jackson to make the final roster, he would have to beat out Devontae Booker for the third running back spot.
Stats to Know:
– Joe Flacco has made the playoffs six times. Only once he has done it without a 1,000-yard rusher. (2008, his rookie season).
– Phillip Lindsay was the first undrafted offensive rookie selected to the Pro Bowl.
– The Broncos have never had two running backs rush for over 1,000 yards in a single-season. The closest is tandem was Mike Anderson (1,014 yards) and Tatum Bell (921 yards) in 2005.
What They Said: Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello on Phillip Lindsay
“He’s just one of the more dynamic players in this league. I’m excited to get to work him and the great part is that we kind of know the people around us and what they’re capable of. He’s a guy that we know is capable of a lot, but again, we’re going to want him to do the things he can do best. That will be the fun part of training camp when we get him rolling.”
BRONCOS TRAINING CAMP: See All Of Justin Adams’ Position Breakdowns