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Bills vs. Broncos: Floyd Little gets cut mid-game and redeems himself

If things had been only slightly different in that game against the Bills, Floyd Little would not be a Hall of Fame Denver Bronco.

broncos ring of fame plaza Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Although the Broncos are all but officially eliminated from post-season play, don’t think that this Sunday’s game against the Bills doesn’t matter.

The Broncos have been here before.

Exactly 51 years ago to the day from Sunday’s game, the 1968 Denver Broncos and the Buffalo Bills squared off in Denver’s Mile High Stadium. What happened that chilly November afternoon could have changed the face of the Denver Broncos forever.

In June of 2018, I took interviews with 1968 Broncos quarterback Marlin Briscoe and running back Floyd Little and cut them together so that they could tell the story of the time future hall of famer Floyd Little was cut on the field after what seemed like a game-ending fumble against the Bills.

When I first joined the Mile High Report staff back in 2011, I had the tremendous good fortune to interview the NFL’s first starting African American quarterback (and Broncos rookie quarterback touchdown record-holder) Marlin Briscoe and shortly thereafter Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little.

You may find the Marlin Briscoe interview here and the Floyd Little interview here.

What has stayed with me all these years later is that both of these men told me the same story: The story of how Floyd Little was fired and rehired during the same game.

Not many folks know how it went down that fateful November day and, if you look at the boxscore of this seminal game in Broncos history, you’d never know what a turning point it was.

Had Little actually been cut, the Broncos first winning season in 1973 likely wouldn’t have happened. His lobbying to upgrade the stadium and keep the franchise in the city of Denver would likely have never have happened. For all we know, if then Broncos coach Lou Saban had followed through with cutting Floyd Little, the Denver Broncos could very well not exist as we know them today.

So, without further ado, here are former Denver Broncos Marlin Briscoe and Floyd Little describing, together, what happened in Bears Stadium in Denver on November 24th in 1968 against the Buffalo Bills.


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