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Denver Broncos Lose RB Javonte Williams For the Year with Torn ACL

Posted on: October 3, 2022, 03:28h. 

Last updated on: October 3, 2022, 06:23h.

The Denver Broncos incurred a huge blow on Monday morning when an MRI revealed that starting running back Javonte Williams will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and LCL injury.

Javonte Williams ACL knee injury out season Denver Broncos Melvin Gordon Mike Boone
Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (33) went down with a knee injury at the start of the second half against the Las Vegas Raiders when they gang-tackled him for a loss. (Image: USA Today Sports)

Williams suffered a right knee injury on the first play of the third quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Williams got tackled in the backfield for a loss, which resulted in a blown-out ACL and an LCL tear.

Obviously seeing Javonte go down, that hurt,” said quarterback Russell Wilson in the post-game presser.

Before the injury, Williams rushed 10 times for 28 yards against the Raiders. The Broncos lost to the Raiders 32-23, and slipped to 2-2 on the season. The Raiders finally won their first game of the season after starting out 0-3.

During his rookie season with the Broncos in 2021, Williams stood out with 1,219 total yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns.

The Broncos face a short week heading into Week 5, when they host a Thursday Night Football game against the Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1). Even without Williams, the Broncos are a -3.5 favorite.

Melvin Gordon: Too Many Fumbles

Losing Williams is a huge blow for the Broncos, considering that backup running back Melvin Gordon has a serious bout of fumblitis this season. The Broncos signed Gordon to a one-year deal in the off-season, knowing that he’d be coming off the bench behind Williams.

Gordon had a rough start to the season with four fumbles in four games. In the season opener on Monday Night Football in Week 1, Gordon fumbled on the goal line in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Gordon had a costly fumble late in the second quarter against the Raiders that drastically changed the momentum of the game. Amik Robertson from the Raiders recovered a Gordon fumble and ran the ball back for a 68-yeard touchdown. The touchdown for the Raiders broke a 10-10 tie. The Raiders then proceeded to outscore the Broncos 22-13 after Gordon’s fumble.

Gordon only got two more touches through the rest of the game and finished with eight yards on three carries.

I have to bounce (back) for the team,” Gordon told the Denver Post. “I made a mistake, first guys over there to cheer me up, to get me back right, them boys believe in me. I just got to be better.”

Gordon rushed 37 times for 139 yards and one touchdown this season. He also has eight receptions for 49 yards.

Gordon spent five seasons with the Chargers before he headed to the Broncos in 2020. Gordon lost the starting job to Williams last season during his auspicious rookie campaign.

In 102  total games with the Broncos and Chargers, Gordon rushed for 6.283 yards and 54 touchdowns. He averages 4.2 yards per carry over his career. He has 292 receptions for 2,293 receiving yards and 14 additional touchdowns.

Mike Boone Could Start at RB

Third-string running back Mike Boone filled in for Williams for the rest of the second half against the Raiders. He had three carries for 20 yards, and added one reception for nine yards.

Boone spent three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings as a backup behind Dalvin Cook in 2018-20. He joined the Broncos last season and barely saw any action. He tallied just four carries for 35 yards and added two receptions for 22 yards.

The Broncos have to make a tough decision – either start Boone or Gordon — in Week 5 against the low-scoring Colts. There’s a good chance the Broncos opt for a running back by committee with a Thursday Night Football game on deck for this week.

There’s a minimal chance the Broncos try to acquire another running back through a trade. The Broncos have a shortage of draft picks in 2023 after the Wilson trade with the Seahawks. They’re more interested in acquiring draft picks rather than in coughing them up.

In the meantime, expect running back Devine Ozigbo to earn a promotion from the practice squad.

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