For the Broncos, the stable of running backs increased while they had to send one defensive end to pasture.
In the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night, Denver lost defensive end Billy Winn to an arm injury, sending him to the injured reserve and simultaneously hurting the team’s depth on the defensive line.
To fill his roster spot, the Broncos signed running back Theo Riddick, who joins an already overfilled running back’s room led by Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, followed by the veteran Riddick and many younger backs.
Riddick can be thought of more as a receiver out of the back field rather than a running back, although his versatility certainly helps Denver’s offensive attack. Last year in Detroit, the six-year veteran ran 40 times for 171 yards (4.3 YPC) and caught 61 passes for 384 yards. He failed to score on either the ground or through the air for the first time of his career, so Rich Scangarello will likely be looking for interesting ways to get him involved in the offense and how to get him into the end zone.
Lindsay remains the No. 1 back, but due to his wrist rehab, Royce Freeman may start off the season getting more carries than Lindsay. Behind those two, there’s Riddick — who seemingly steps into the No. 3 role — along with a whole host of young runners. Our Zach Segars has Khalfani Muhammad as the No. 4 back thanks to the all-around performance he put on in the Hall of Fame Game, and don’t forget about Devontae Booker, who’s still fighting, too.
For Winn, it’s another end of a season before it got going. In 2017, he tore an ACL and last year was out of football. He was already being out-played by DeMarcus Walker, who is ahead of him on the depth chart, but in the long haul of the season, Winn’s depth could have come in handy later on.
Currently at defensive end, Derek Wolfe and Adam Gotsis are the starters while Walker and Dre’Mont Jones are the backups. Behind the rookie Jones is DeShawn Williams.
Denver’s second preseason game comes Thursday at Seattle with kickoff coming at 8 p.m. MT.