Melvin Gordon cannot protect the football.
When he’s on the field for the Denver Broncos, fans hold their breath because they know it’s coming.
And it’s been like this since before he even signed in Denver.
As Zach Segars pointed out on Twitter, this issue goes back to 2019. We could look back even farther, but let’s keep it current. Segars sent out Gordon’s fumbles and his ranks among NFL running backs.
Through four games, Gordon has four fumbles.
Melvin Gordon’s fumbles over the years and his ranks among RBs:— Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars) October 3, 2022
2022: 4 (worst)
2021: 3 (T8th-worst)
2020: 4 (T3rd-worst)
2019: 4 (T3rd-worst)
3 different staffs. 2 different teams.
It’s on Melvin.
At this point, it’s a trend. And it’s costing the Broncos as the most recent fumble did on Sunday in the loss the Las Vegas Raiders.
“Obviously, anytime you turn the ball over, it’s a big swing,” Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said to the media after Sunday’s game. “That leading to a touchdown on the same recovery, it’s obviously rough. I really loved how the guys battle, they stayed in it. They could have definitely gone down in the tank, and they didn’t.
“We still had a chance there at the end. Got it down to a field goal game there at the end. In the end, that’s what you are asking from your team. All those things, they do happen, and that’s a hard way to win games whenever you lose the turnover differential and it being a score. But they battled back and I thought that was really good.”
The question now is how you fix Gordon’s fumbles.
Since the issue proceeds his time in Denver, that’s three coaching staffs he’s worked with. Yet the fumbles persist.
That’s on Gordon.
He’s a professional running back, not a kid learning to play the game. At some point it’s on him to make this a priority and fix it. The coaches can offer advice, but this is the NFL.
In the words of “Letterkenny,” “Figure it out.”
“The reality about playing this game at the highest level, whether it’s football, basketball, golf, baseball, no matter what it is, there is going to be some mistakes along the way,” Russell Wilson said. “The best ones, they respond, and I believe in Melvin Gordon responding. I know he’s going to. He’s a guy that just works his butt off every day. I believe in him. We believe in him. And he’s going to get the ball again.
“He’s going to make some great plays and he’s going to have a great season the rest of the season. We’re going to have to rely on him and the rest of the guys, (Mike) Boone and Javonte (Williams), whenever he’s good to go. I don’t have any doubts with him.”
For most in Broncos Country, they’ll believe it when they see it.
There’s no doubt Gordon will get the ball again since Williams is feared to have suffered a major injury, and the Broncos are on a short week with the Indianapolis Colts coming to Denver for Thursday Night Football.
At least for now, the question is when Gordon will put the ball on the ground. Again.
The trust factor is already hanging on by a thread. Gordon must hold on tight or he’ll fumble another one.
“In the end, you can’t put the ball on the ground. It’s that simple,” Hackett said to the media. “We always say take care of the ball, it’s the most important thing. It’s not like he’s trying to do it, we understand that. But we just have to be even better with our ball security across the board. The other guys did a good job, and Melvin had that one.”