Key Week 14 battle could be perfect time for Broncos to get rookie RB going again

The Denver Broncos need to find a way to get Jaleel McLaughlin more involved in the offensive game plan.

Dec 3, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans cornerback Desmond King II (25) attempts to tackle
Dec 3, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans cornerback Desmond King II (25) attempts to tackle / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When the Denver Broncos hit SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles this Sunday, they need to be willing to pull out all of the stops in order to defeat the Chargers.

It might be a great time to get the engine revved up again on rookie running back Jaleel McLaughlin. Earlier in the season, while the Broncos were badly struggling, the undrafted free agent was one of the lone bright spots.

In recent weeks, while the Broncos have turned their season around, McLaughlin has dropped off in terms of usage and production.


Team Record

Total Touches

Total Yards


First 6 games





Last 6 games





It's not a huge drop in touches, but it is a big drop in production, which could just be a result of the adjustments that the Broncos have made after such a poor start to the season. However, it could be beneficial for the team to find a way to make McLaughlin a bigger part of the game plan in games that lead to victories.

That should start this Sunday against a struggling Chargers team. With Samaje Perine now listed as questionable to play in the game with a knee issue, there could be even more reason.

The Broncos have gotten big contributions this season from Perine and starting running back Javonte Williams, but there is absolutely room for McLaughlin to be a factor. When the team was putting things together this season, and particularly in the team's first win over the Chicago Bears, McLaughlin was a player that jumpstarted the offense and it seemed like something good happened almost every time he touched the ball.

The Broncos need to get back to that. McLaughlin has had six touches or less in each of the team's last three games. This week against the Chargers, particularly if Perine doesn't play, that number needs to go way up.

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McLaughlin could become an X-factor for this team during the late stages of this season.