Freeman carried the ball six times for 36 yards during Sunday's 20-14 loss in San Francisco.
The Broncos' offense didn't start to click until it was too late against the 49ers. Stacked boxes can be partially be to blame as San Francisco sold out against the run, holding the Broncos to just 3.8 yards per carry. The Broncos now lack anything resembling experience at receiver or tight end, with first-year players like Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick leading the charge. Expect teams to take a similar run-focused approach down the stretch, starting Saturday against at Cleveland run defense that has been gashed at times this season, surrendering a sizable 4.7 yards per carry.
Freeman rushed for 48 yards on 12 carries and lost a fumble during Sunday's 24-10 win over the Bengals.
Freeman was stood up late in the third quarter and stripped just before his forward motion was stopped. The Broncos went right back to him, seven of his carries coming in the fourth quarter as Denver tried to drain the clock. The result was Freeman's most touches since Week 7 and most yardage since Week 4. Freeman has certainly been passed over by fellow rookie Phillip Lindsay in the pecking order, but the Oregon product maintains value given Denver's recent reliance on the run and his goal-line abilities. He'll face a tough test next Sunday against a 49ers front giving up just 4.0 yards per carry this season.
Freeman managed 17 yards on six carries during Sunday's 24-17 win against the Steelers.
It's evident that Freeman still has a role in the Broncos backfield, but he's clearly fallen out of favor compared to Phillip Lindsay as the team's No. 1 option at the position. Since Week 4, Freeman has logged 7.7 carries per game compared to Lindsay's 12.9, with a 4.1 YPC averaged compared to a clip of 5.7 for Lindsay over than same span. Week 13's opponent leaves room for both players to feast, going up against a Cincinnati defense that's allowed the fourth-most rushing yards to opposing running backs this year.
Freeman carried seven times for 23 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 23-22 win over the Chargers.
Freeman received his first offensive touches since Week 7, and although he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry, he was able to score on a three-yard burst into the end zone in the third quarter. He received seven fewer touches than Phillip Lindsay, who generated 106 scrimmage yards and a pair of touchdowns. While Freeman will be in the mix for carries and red zone touches, Lindsay still owns the larger role in this backfield and should continue as such next Sunday against the Steelers.
Freeman missed the Broncos' final two games before their Week 10 bye, but his health looks to be in a better place coming out of the idle period. After Freeman logged a limited practice Wednesday to open the week, coach Vance Joseph predicted that the rookie would be able to suit up Sunday against the Chargers. That optimism was seemingly supported by Freeman's full session Thursday, which puts him on track to rejoin the Denver backfield in Week 11. Phillip Lindsay has headed the backfield committee for most of the season and is expected to continue to maintain the lead role, but Freeman could immediately step in ahead of Devontae Booker as the No. 2 option now that the ankle issue seems to be behind him.
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