Broncos: 5 options to fill Phillip Lindsay’s shoes in 2021

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Najee Harris. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Najee Harris. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos, Phillip Lindsay
Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos 2021 offseason. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos said one of their toughest goodbyes in recent memory, letting restricted free agent running back Phillip Lindsay walk after initially offering him a low-level tender at just over $2 million.

After two stellar years with the team, former Broncos GM John Elway mentioned that the team would like to do something contractually to reward Lindsay for back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns. Although Elway never guaranteed a deal would be done, pretty much everyone thought it would.

When it didn’t, it was again assumed that the Broncos had seen enough from Lindsay to at least keep him in their plans for a fourth season in 2021, but that was also not to be.

Although a number of teams could have made sense, Lindsay signed on with the Houston Texans for a one-year contract worth $3.25 million and $1 million in guarantees. Lindsay is looking to bounce back after the 2020 campaign in which he struggled with injuries and didn’t Always look like his usual self out there.

He ran for over 500 yards and just one touchdown on the season and was not shy after the season was over about talking through the fact that he did not feel he was used properly in Pat Shurmur’s offense.

Many Broncos fans would agree with that.

Now, the Denver Broncos will have to fill some pretty big shoes in their offense and in the locker room. Lindsay was an incredible story, of course, but he became so much more than just that early on.

Lindsay was a catalyst for the offense when he was at his best. Although you could argue he was under-utilized as a receiver (there was talk of him being a slot coming out, remember that?), there is no question that the Broncos’ offensive plan (running the ball) became telegraphed when Lindsay was on the field.

The team will be looking to replace him with a back (or multiple backs) with more three-down versatility. Which players could do it?

Let’s take a look at five.