The Broncos had reason to feed running back Javonte Williams during Sunday’s division game against the Raiders when veteran opponent Melvin Gordon fumbled for a fourth time in as many games. But now they are without Williams indefinitely. The starting running back was ruled out of Week 4 with a knee injury after being sent off. Williams went down in the first game of the third quarter on his 10th carry of the day and was initially ruled questionable after visiting the sideline medical tent.
Williams will have an MRI on Monday to determine the full extent of his illness. per NFL Media, but the initial fear is that he has sustained a serious injury. That suggests a trip to injured reserve, which would guarantee a minimum four-game absence, is probably in order, although a really bad knee problem could see Williams sidelined for the rest of the year.
Denver had split backfield duties between Williams and Gordon like in 2021, but the former has consistently been one of the Broncos’ toughest weapons. Best known for his tackle-breaking skills, Williams appeared to have twisted his knee going down early in the third quarter. The 2021 second-round pick hit a season-high 18 touches in Denver’s Week 3 win over the 49ers, matching his Week 1 total when he led the club with 11 catches.
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With Williams absent, the Broncos initially leaned more on former Vikings reservist Mike Boone after Gordon’s turnover streak continued. But Gordon, who has surpassed 900 yards in each of the last two seasons for Denver, also anticipates an overall uptick in touches given the current absence of other running backs available on the Broncos’ active roster.