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What signing Theo Riddick could mean for Devontae Booker

The signing of Riddick puts Booker’s roster spot in danger.

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

It was reported on Thursday that former Detroit Lions running back has decided to sign with the Denver Broncos. He was deciding between the Broncos and the New Orleans Saints, but the connections and Rich Scangarello’s offense likely swayed him to coming to the Mile High City.

He officially signed his one-year deal with the team on Friday, according to 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis.

Riddick will now join a suddenly crowded backfield that includes Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, Devontae Booker, the speedy Khalfani Muhammad, big Dave Williams, and UDFA Devontae Jackson.

Obviously, Riddick wouldn’t have been added if they did not plan on keeping him on the 53-man roster, so he very likely took a roster spot from one those names listed above not named Phillip Lindsay or Royce Freeman. The likely odd man out in this scenario is Devontae Booker.

Booker has served as the Broncos third-down back/pass catching back the past few seasons and looked to have that spot secured this season. However, the surprising release of pass catching back Theo Riddick may have changed everything. Riddick is one of the better pass catching backs in the league and can be the teams third-down back as well, so he basically replaces and upgrades that role over Booker.

Now while things look bleak for Booker, I expect him to stick around throughout the remainder of camp and the preseason. Injuries unfortunately happen and you always need depth at running back. Also, injuries are likely to strike throughout the league and the Broncos could feel comfortable with their depth and use Booker as a trade chip. At the very least, I see him sticking around until cut day.

I’m also not completely closing the door on Booker sticking around. Riddick is mainly a pass-catching back who only had 40 total carries for the Lions last season. If either Lindsay or Freeman were to go down during a game, it would leave the Broncos pretty thin at tailback. Freeman is your lone power back, and Broncos seem to want to limit Lindsay’s carries. Plus Reddick is a much better receiver than running back. So keeping Booker who can run and catch the ball as depth could be something they consider. With that said, they could look to find a cheaper back off the waiver wire who can do all those things as well.

Either way, Booker’s job is suddenly in danger and how this whole situation plays out in the coming days and weeks will be one of the more interesting remaining aspects of Broncos camp.


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