Denver Broncos rookie running back Royce Freeman was rolling until an ankle injury sidelined him. Will he return to form soon?
The Denver Broncos’ stellar rookie class includes not just one but two awesome running backs in Phillip Lindsay (the team’s leading rusher) and Royce Freeman.
Freeman was a high third-round draft choice after four productive years with the Oregon Ducks in which he established himself as one of the best running backs in all of college football.
He wasted no time making an impact and impression on the Denver Broncos, earning the top running back position on the team out of training camp and the preseason and proving himself to be a touchdown machine.
In nine games so far this season, Freeman has five touchdowns, all five coming in different games.
He’s only played in nine of the Broncos’ 11 games this season because he suffered an ankle injury in the team’s Thursday Night Football domination of the Arizona Cardinals.
Freeman only missed two games but ended up out of action for about a calendar month as the Broncos had their bye week while he was out.
Since returning from injury, Freeman has 13 total carries and is averaging about three yards per clip. It’s not that he looks horrible, but the explosiveness he had in the early portion of the season has been missing the past couple of games, and that could be a result of his ankle injury.
If the Broncos are going to continue making a run this season, they are going to need Freeman to get back to form quickly.
Phillip Lindsay could probably absorb some more of the workload offensively, but he’s been so efficient with his touches, the ideal scenario would be for Freeman to step up and be able to get back to his 8-12 carries per game and get that average up between 4.5-5.0 yards per touch.
Freeman obviously specializes in short-yardage situations with his vision, quick feet, and powerful legs, but he’s also a phenomenal first-down runner. The Broncos need that 1-2 punch with Lindsay and Freeman to return to the form they showed in week four of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs.
After two sub-par outings for Freeman’s standards, it seems likely we could see a resurgence in week 13 against the 32nd ranked defense in the NFL in Cincinnati.