Week 14 of the 2023 season will mark the debut of a player that many in Broncos Country felt would play a much bigger role this season. Second-year running back Tyler Badie seemed to have the edge on the third running back spot heading into training camp, but rookie free agent Jaleel McLaughlin made too much noise to be ignored.
As fate would have it, the Broncos were able to keep Badie on their practice squad, and with Samaje Perine popping up late in the week on the injury report with a knee injury, Badie is being promoted and will make his debut.
The promotion for Badie is really exciting for a lot of fans, even if it is coming at the expense of Samaje Perine. You'd obviously prefer to see Perine healthy, but Badie has intriguing speed and playmaking ability, and you can't help but wonder about some of the possibilities for a package of plays that Sean Payton might have drawn up for him on Sunday.
Remember when Badie made his NFL debut last year against the Los Angeles Chargers? He did this:
Badie had a solid camp and preseason for the Broncos as well in 2023, but he didn't exactly do anything as spectacular as the play we saw against the Chargers last season. Still, that play is an example of the best of what Badie brings to the table with his pass-catching ability and straight-line speed.
The Broncos will almost undoubtedly be leaning more on the running game and the quick passing game against the Chargers, which means we could see quite a bit of Tyler Badie. Not to sell him short, but you also can't help but wonder if Jaleel McLaughlin has slightly fallen out of favor lately. Perhaps Badie will even be the second running back in line behind Javonte Williams in this game.
The Broncos desperately need the offense to come through in this game against the Los Angeles Chargers. If the offense had been even somewhat competent in the first half against Houston, they might have been able to dictate the pace of that game. We know the Broncos want to run the ball and we know that Tyler Badie is someone who can bust off big chunks at a time.
Perhaps he will play a bigger role against Los Angeles than anyone really anticipates.