Broncos may have suffered multiple devastating injuries vs. Raiders

Denver Broncos, Javonte Williams - Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, Javonte Williams - Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos don’t exactly have time to mourn their disturbing loss on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders. During the course of the game, the Broncos lost multiple players to what appear to be serious and possibly devastating injuries. Defensive back and core special teamer PJ Locke was hurt on the opening kickoff and treated for a concussion. His status going forward will be a major question mark.

As the game progressed, the Broncos lost starting running back Javonte Williams to a knee injury and he left Allegiant Stadium on crutches. Pass rusher Randy Gregory — who has been awesome early on this season — also suffered a knee injury and was carted off the field against the Raiders.

Denver Broncos may have lost Javonte Williams and Randy Gregory for serious time

To add injury to insult, the Broncos may have lost one of their most important offensive players when Javonte Williams went down with a knee injury against the Raiders. Williams is the team’s clear RB1 right now and it’s not even remotely close. The reason this injury is so significant is layered. First of all, Williams is just a special player who can create offense for the Broncos. That part is obvious.

Second, though, is the fact that Melvin Gordon is not a trustworthy player at this stage of his career. Not only is Gordon not impacting the offense in a very positive way through four games, he’s actually become a tremendous liability. Because the Broncos can’t trust Gordon, we saw a lot more of Mike Boone in this matchup against the Raiders.

While Boone has some nice plays, he also has not proven himself to be a consistent enough player in the passing game with multiple passes hitting his hands this year and not being reeled in for receptions. Gordon, however, has far worse and more significant issues. Through four games, he has four fumbles, and his fumble against the Raiders resulted in six points the other way on a touchdown return by Amik Robertson.

The Broncos can’t trust Gordon. Boone may not be ready for a full-time role. What next? That’s a huge question mark right now with a Thursday matchup against the Colts coming in just a few days. The team will have no choice but to rely on Gordon, Boone, and perhaps practice squad back Devine Ozigbo.

Randy Gregory’s injury would be horrendous for the Broncos but the team is much better equipped behind him than they are Williams on offense. Baron Browning would step into a more prominent role defensively with Nik Bonitto factoring into the rotation in the role previously held by Browning.

We’re not going to speculate about the length of the injuries for these two players, but the fact that both players were carted off the field in Las Vegas, the fact that Williams was seen on crutches in the locker room…the early prognosis is not good and any long-term injuries to those two players would require players stepping up in massive, potentially unforeseen ways for the Broncos.