The Denver Broncos will have to play the rest of the 2022-23 NFL season without running back Javonte Williams, who is reportedly going on the injured reserve after suffering a serious knee Sunday.
In their loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, Williams was carted off the field. Test results showed what they had feared and worse: Williams tore his ACL as well as his LCL and posterior lateral corner, per NFL Network.
It’s a huge loss for Denver’s offense as the second-year back showcased exactly how tough and powerful he can be on the ground last season as a rookie second-round pick.
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Williams totaled 903 yards on 203 carries for a solid 4.4 yards per touch with four touchdowns in 2021. He also caught 43 balls for 316 yards and three scores.
This season, Williams had 204 yards on 47 carries for an average 4.3 yards every touch, though he didn’t find the end zone once.
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But Broncos fans know that Williams was just one half of the backfield, as veteran Melvin Gordon III split touches with Williams each game. He has the only rushing touchdown between them this season, picking it up in the win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3.
Gordon, then, figures to be the starting running back and see a substantial uptick in touches equivalent to a regular starter with Williams sidelined for the rest of the year.
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Gordon has 139 yards on 37 carries this season with eight receptions for 49 yards. He saw 918 yards on the ground on the same amount of rush attempts as Williams (203) in 2021 with eight touchdowns.
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Mike Boone, the undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati, will likely be Gordon’s backup now. He’s in his fifth year in the NFL, second with the Broncos, and has played in a depth role throughout his career thus far.