Denver Broncos: Remembering former running back Otis Armstrong

Former Denver Broncos running back Otis Armstrong passed away earlier this week at the age of 70 years old.

Otis Armstrong spent his entire eight-year career in Denver after the team selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 1973 NFL draft. To this day, only Floyd Little was ever drafted higher at the running back position by the team and Armstrong is one of just seven running backs ever drafted by Denver in the first round.

He finished his career following the 1980 season with 4,453 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns on the ground. He still ranks as the No. 4 all-time rusher in team history, trailing only Sammy Winder, Little and Terrell Davis.

Born in Chicago in 1950, Anderson was a standout high school football player before going to Purdue University. He left the Boilermakers as the school’s all-time leading rusher and still sits at No. 3 on the list behind only Kory Sheets and Mike Alstott.

Though Armstrong’s playing career ended many moons ago, his contributions to the Broncos should never be forgotten. He was an integral part of a team that earned its first playoff birth in franchise history and first trip to the Super Bowl in the late 1970s. He was an All-Pro in 1974 and he was selected to play in two Pro Bowls.

Armstrong was really one of the best running backs of his generation and though he never quite got on the level of Little, he was the man selected to replace Little in the team’s backfield.

Otis Armstrong should be remembered for greatness

Armstrong achieved several accolades during his playing career, including being named to the College Football Hall of Fame, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame and the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame.

If one were to make a list of the most underrated players in Broncos history, Armstrong would be at or near the top.

Rest in peace, Otis, and thank you for your contributions to the Denver Broncos.