The Denver Broncos are reeling from the loss of rookie Phillip Lindsay who suffered a wrist injury that will likely keep him in rehab for up to six months after surgery. Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave called Lindsay the pace setter for this offense.
“We’re going to miss Phillip, obviously, both in the run game and in the pass game, and in the leadership category. He set the tone, he was our pace setter. We’re looking for a bunch of guys to step into his shoes that he left and pick us up where we will miss him.”
Musgrave is right on target, but he’s also likely a big reason why Lindsay is down for the count instead of still setting the pace. The Broncos should look at the 2017 New Orleans Saints as a good example of how they should have had Lindsay set the pace for this offense. They had Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram in a ground and pound that saw them combine for nearly 2000 yards rushing.
Instead, Musgrave went with the ‘hot hand’ and fellow rookie Royce Freeman barely saw the field down the stretch even in short yardage situations where teams were stacking the box. The lack of creativity in play calling there was disappointing, but Freeman now has his chance to remind everyone that he can play too as he’ll be the featured back against the Los Angeles Chargers.
“I think a little bit like we did in Kansas City when Royce was down,” Musgrave said of splitting carries between Freeman and Devontae Booker. “Book will get a bunch of runs. Then we’ll have, of course, Royce take the lion’s share.”
It’ll be nice to see what the Broncos have in Freeman, so when the next coaching staff comes in they can evaluate and decide how best to succeed with an incredible talent like Lindsay with Freeman in the mix.