During Sunday’s divisional game against the Raiders, the Broncos had incentive to feed running back Javonte Williams, as veteran counterpart Melvin Gordon fumbled for the fourth time in as many games. But they are now without Williams indefinitely. After being carted off, the starting running back was ruled out for Week 4 with a knee injury. Williams was injured on the first play of the third quarter, his tenth carry of the day, and was initially ruled questionable after visiting the sideline medical tent.
According to NFL Media, Williams will have an MRI on Monday to establish the exact extent of his injuries, but the first concern is that he sustained a significant injury. That indicates a trip to injured reserve, which would guarantee at least a four-game absence, is likely, though a genuinely significant knee injury might keep Williams out for the rest of the season.
Denver had been alternating backfield duties between Williams and Gordon, like they did in 2021, but the former has consistently been one of the Broncos’ most tenacious weapons. Williams, who is best known for his tackle-breaking talents, appeared to have his knee twisted as he went down early in the third quarter.
The Week 3 win over the 49ers saw the 2021 second-round pick, who had a season-high 18 touches, match his workload from Week 1, when he led the team with 11 catches.
After Gordon’s turnover streak continued while Williams was out, the Broncos originally relied heavily on former Vikings reserve Mike Boone. However, with no other running backs now available on the active roster of the Broncos, Gordon, who over 900 yards in each of the previous two seasons for Denver, is also likely to experience an increase in overall touches.