Expect Royce Freeman to compete for a spot on the Broncos' running back depth chart. Melvin Gordon remains the presumed starter with rookie Javonte Williams and free agent Mike Boone joining this offseason. Freeman played 193 offensive snaps last year and might struggle to see much more than that unless runners ahead of him in the pecking order miss playing time. Until that happens, leave Freeman on waivers.
Freeman is on the roster bubble after Denver added running backs Javonte Williams and Mike Boone in the offseason, ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold reports. Williams was a second-round draft pick, and Boone signed a two-year contract that includes $2.6 million guaranteed. Even if the latter move was more about special teams than offense, it gives Boone a level of security that Freeman doesn't have. Freeman has averaged only 4.0 yards per carry and 5.9 yards per catch in 46 games for the Broncos, failing to meet expectations after coming off the board 71st overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. If Freeman does make the team, it might just be as a third-down specialist behind Williams and Melvin Gordon.
Freeman ran for 170 yards on 35 carries and added 81 yards on 12 catches during the 2020 season. Freeman's workload took a hit following the Broncos' acquisition of Melvin Gordon. Though he averaged 4.9 yards per carry, a full yard above his career average, Freeman seldom garnered many touches with Gordon serving as the bell cow more often than not and Phillip Lindsay also a factor in the 11 games he played. With the exception of Week 13's game against the Saints, in which Freeman took snaps at wildcat quarterback, the 2018 third-rounder never topped 35 yards and didn't log more than nine touches in any contest. Freeman may still offer value as a third-down back, but depending on what the Broncos do in the offseason, his role is far from guaranteed heading into 2021.
Freeman ran for 21 yards on two carries and added a one-yard catch during Sunday's 32-31 loss to Las Vegas. Freeman set up the Broncos' first touchdown late in the first quarter, rumbling for 20 yards to bring Denver into Las Vegas territory. Still, perhaps still bothered by a nagging hip, he garnered just two touches to Melvin Gordon's 30. The third-year back often was lost in the shuffle this season as Gordon took Freeman's role as the passing-game back. Absent a shake-up in the offseason, a similar role likely awaits Freeman in 2021.
Freeman (hip) is active for Sunday's game against the Chargers, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports. The 24-year-old was considered questionable with the hip issue but is good to go Sunday. Freeman will serve as the backup to Melvin Gordon with Phillip Lindsay (hip/knee) on injured reserve.
Freeman (hip) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Chargers, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports. The 24-year-old picked up the hip injury during last week's loss to the Bills, but he'll have a chance to take the field Sunday. Freeman would be in line for an increased workload behind starter Melvin Gordon if available to play this weekend, since Phillip Lindsay (hip/knee) has already been ruled out.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/12||@New York Giants||17||17.50|
|3||09/26||New York Jets||20||18.00|
|6||10/17||Las Vegas Raiders||29||22.38|
|8||10/31||Washington Football Team||3||14.24|
|12||11/28||Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
|13||12/05||@Kansas City Chiefs||25||19.32|
|16||12/26||@Las Vegas Raiders||29||22.38|
|17||01/02||@Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
|18||01/09||Kansas City Chiefs||25||19.32|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||99||396||3||23||136||0||70|