The Broncos had reason to run back to Javonte Williams in Sunday’s league game with the Raiders as veteran counterpart Melvin Gordon fiddled for the fourth time in as many games. But now they are without Williams indefinitely. The starting running back was ruled out from Week 4 with a knee injury after being sacked. Williams went down in the first game of the third quarter, on his 10th carry of the day, and was initially judged doubtful after a visit to the medical tent on the sidelines.
Williams will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the full extent of his condition, according to NFL Media, but initial fears are that he has been seriously injured. That suggests a trip to the injured reserve, which would guarantee an absence of at least four games, is likely in order, although a really serious knee problem could sideline Williams for the rest of the year.
Denver had split the backfield duties between Williams and Gordon, as they did in 2021, but the former has always been one of the Broncos’ heaviest weapons. Best known for his tackle-breaking abilities, Williams appeared to have twisted his knee when he went down early in the third quarter. The 2021 second round roster came off a season high of 18 strokes in Denver’s Week 3 win over the 49ers, matching his Week 1 tally as he led the club with 11 catches.
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With Williams absent, the Broncos initially relied more on former Vikings reserve Mike Boone as Gordon’s turnover streak continued. But Gordon, who has racked up 900 yards for Denver in each of the last two seasons, is also seeing an overall increase in ball contacts, with no other running backs currently available on the Broncos’ active roster.