Booker caught five of six targets for 59 yards during Sunday's 34-16 loss at the Jets.
Booker's first touch didn't come until the Broncos' final drive of the first half and the team already down by two scores. Booker's 22 snaps were third among backs Sunday, and he has just one carry over the past two weeks. He doesn't seem to fit into Denver's plans in the run game with his value primarily coming on passing downs. An active Booker probably isn't great for Denver on Sunday: The Rams rank 29th in opponent yards per carry but 17th in opponent quarterback rating.
Booker caught one of two targets for nine yards and added a five-yard carry during Monday's 27-23 loss to Kansas City.
Booker saw an uptick in usage following Phillip Lindsay's ejection in Week 3 but garnered just 8 percent of the stable's touches in Week 4. Booker is so far behind rookies Royce Freeman and Lindsay on the totem pole that he doesn't project as a fantasy factor, even against a middle-of-the-road Jets run defense in Week 5.
Booker rushed for 17 yards on three carries during Denver's 20-19 win over Oakland.
Head coach Vance Joseph has repeatedly preached that the depth chart doesn't matter at running back and that the team will ride the hot hand. Booker managed to record more snaps than rookie starter Royce Freeman, 22 to 16, on Sunday. That's what passes for good news for Booker. Freeman still ended up with five more touches than Booker and, more importantly, undrafted phenom Phillip Lindsay ended the game with a stable-leading 28 snaps on his way to his second-consecutive 100-yard game. No matter what the depth chart or snap-count says, Booker is a distant third in line among Broncos backs.
Broncos head coach Vance Joseph suggested Tuesday that whie Booker could be on the field for the team's first play in the Week 1 contest against Seahawks, it wouldn't necessarily mean that he claimed the starting running-back gig over Royce Freeman, Zac Stevens of BSNDenver.com reports.
Joseph clarified the murky backfield situation with an example, saying that if the Broncos opted for a quick pass on their opening play, Booker's number is more likely to be called than Freeman's. Hopefully for the sake of not tipping plays, Joseph didn't mean to be taken literally, but his comment says something about where the competition between Freeman and Booker has been and where it is going. Thus far in the preseason, Freeman has made a strong case for becoming the Broncos' go-to option for carries, with the rookie averaging 5.6 yards per clip and totaling three touchdowns. Booker, meanwhile, hasn't been nearly as effective on the ground, but has kept himself relevant in the playing-time discussion through his experience in pass protection. That might be enough for Booker to garner a decent amount of snaps when the season begins, but with Freeman and fellow newcomer Phillip Lindsay showing more aptitude as ballcarriers and likely to improve in protection as they gain familiarity with Denver's scheme, Booker will need to capitalize on the touches he receives early on in order to enjoy stable playing time throughout the campaign.
Booker rushed twice for seven yards during Saturday's preseason opener against the Vikings.
Booker, who was listed as the No. 1 running back on the initial roster, barely saw any action Saturday, so it's hard to compare his performance to that of rookie Royce Freeman. However, Freeman was very impressive on his similarly-low four carries, one time busting a 22-yard run to the house. This battle for the No. 1 job could come down to the wire, but after the preseason opener, it seems as if the momentum is on Freeman's side.
|8||10/28/18||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|11||11/18/18||@ LAC||4:05 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ SF||4:05 pm|
|16||12/24/18||@ OAK||8:15 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|