Williams (knee) was a limited participant in Thursday's OTA practice, Chris Tomasson of The Denver Gazette reports.
Analysis: There's no contact at this early stage of the offseason, and Williams presumably will be sitting out once there is. Still, this shows he's making progress in his rehab from ACL and LCL tears suffered Week 4 last year. GM George Paton hinted in March (and again in April) that he wasn't sure about Williams' Week 1 availability, and while that may still be the case, new coach Sean Payton says the Broncos are encouraged by the RB's early progress. Offseason addition Samaje Perine is the obvious candidate to get more work if Williams isn't ready come September, but it looks like open competition otherwise with the Broncos rostering a slew of RBs that have been released by other teams, including Tony Jones, Jacques Patrick and Tyler Badie.
May 25, 2023 11:21 AM EST
Broncos head coach Sean Payton believes there's a "good chance" Williams won't be placed on the PUP list to begin training camp, Nick Kosmider of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: This is the first bit of reported optimism regarding Williams' status to start the 2023 season given general manager George Paton had previously made couched remarks regarding the star running back's availability when August rolls around. The third-year running back saw his 2022 season cut short in Week 4 after tearing his ACL and LCL along with severe bruising in other areas of his knee. Rehab from the season-ending surgery was thought to be a long road, but evidently the 23-year-old has made significant progress over the last couple of months. Samaje Perine would likely have first crack at the starting role if Williams was unable to play Week 1.
May 13, 2023 1:09 PM EST
Broncos GM George Paton reiterated Thursday that he isn't sure when Williams (knee) will be ready for games but does know it will be at some point in 2023, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Analysis: Paton made similar comments in late March, responding, " we won't know that for a while," when a reporter asked him if Williams would be ready for Week 1. The 2021 second-round pick is rehabbing multiple ligament tears in his right knee, including an ACL, and the Broncos don't have much experience in their backfield beyond Williams and new addition Samaje Perine. Paton thus acknowledged the possibility of the team drafting a running back, though Denver's lack of capital (no picks in the first or second round) means anyone they add might not represent serious competition for Williams/Perine.
Apr 20, 2023 12:00 PM EST
The Broncos placed Williams (knee) on injured reserve Tuesday, Aric DiLalla of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: The transaction officially removes Williams from the Broncos' 53-man roster after he suffered a season-ending ACL and LCL tear in his right knee in Sunday's loss to the Raiders. Williams is set to undergo surgery in the coming days and will turn his focus toward gaining clearance for the start of training camp next summer. In a corresponding move, the Broncos signed veteran Latavius Murray off the Saints' practice squad Tuesday to add another option to a backfield that also includes Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone.
Oct 4, 2022 8:23 AM EST
Williams (knee) suffered a season-ending right ACL tear during Sunday's 32-23 loss to the Raiders, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Williams' injury is a brutal blow for Denver's offensive scheme and awful timing for the second-year rookie, who had 47 carries for 204 yards (4.3 YPC) and 16 catches for 72 yards on 22 targets through the first four weeks of the season. Melvin Gordon looks set to take over as the Broncos' lead back in Williams' absence, beginning with a Thursday Knight Football matchup against the Colts, while Mike Boone will also be in line for increased work. Williams, meanwhile, will undergo surgery and turn his attention toward rehabbing for the 2023 campaign.
Oct 3, 2022 9:59 AM EST
Williams is believed to have suffered a serious knee injury in Sunday's 32-23 loss to Vegas, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Further tests on Williams' knee Monday should reveal more details regarding his injury, but the Broncos fear that he could be facing a lengthy absence. Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone would both be in line for additional touches in Williams' absence, with Gordon likely to take on the lead role in Denver's backfield. Williams needed crutches to leave the locker room after Sunday's loss.
Oct 2, 2022 6:03 PM EST
Williams (knee) left the locker room on crutches after Sunday's 32-23 loss to the Raiders, and coach Nathaniel Hackett said the running back will have an MRI on Monday, Jeff Legwold of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Williams injured his knee early in the second half, and he's likely to miss additional time considering he needed crutches to get around after the game. A more definitive timetable on Williams' recovery should emerge after the results of his MRI become known. Melvin Gordon figures to lead Denver's backfield in Williams' absence, though Gordon's continued fumbling issues have likely opened up an opportunity for Mike Boone to siphon off a sizable number of touches as well.
Oct 2, 2022 5:13 PM EST
Williams exited Sunday's game at Las Vegas with a knee injury.
Analysis: On the first play of the second half, Williams remained on the turf for a spell, and when he attempted to get off the field, he needed assistance from the training staff to get to the sideline. After an evaluation, he was carted to the locker room and quickly ruled out. The severity of Williams' injury is unclear, but Melvin Gordon will slide in as the Broncos' top running back for the rest of Week 4, with Mike Boone acting as the No. 2.
Oct 2, 2022 3:18 PM EST
Williams rushed 15 times for 58 yards and caught three of five targets for two yards in Sunday's 11-10 win over the 49ers.
Analysis: Williams put together another solid stat line alongside co-starter Melvin Gordon (18-17 total touch distribution), but it was the latter who was rewarded with a one-yard TD run to close out the win for Denver. The 22-year-old had an ugly drop that hit him in the hands, which further proves that his 11-catch performance back in Week 1 was an anomaly. Williams remains a high-floor, low-ceiling option heading into next Sunday's tilt against the Raiders.
Sep 25, 2022 10:15 PM EST
Williams rushed 15 times for 75 yards and caught one of four targets for 10 yards in Sunday's 16-9 win over the Texans.
Analysis: On a day when the Denver offense struggled to get much of anything going, Williams didn't do much in the box score to win the week for fantasy managers. However, he did operate as Denver's lead back once again, seeing five more attempts on the ground and three more targets through the air than fellow running back Melvin Gordon. Though Gordon is still involved, it's clear the Broncos are comfortable with giving Williams the opportunity to establish himself as the leader of the Denver backfield. As the offense continues to get things figured out, Williams is likely to continue to see a solid share of touches each week. The 22-year-old will look to make the most of his opportunities in Week 3 when the Broncos host the 49ers.
Sep 18, 2022 6:02 PM EST
Williams rushed seven times for 43 yards, caught 11 of 12 targets for 65 yards and lost a fumble in Monday's 17-16 loss to the Seahawks.
Analysis: Williams had a golden opportunity to establish himself as Denver's preferred option by the goal line after Melvin Gordon fumbled on the one-yard line in the third quarter, but Williams returned the favor on the very next possession by fumbling on the four-yard line. Denver trailed throughout the game, which led to heavy involvement for Williams as a pass-catcher, showing that he has a substantial touch floor despite the presence of Gordon, who had 72 scrimmage yards on 12 carries and two targets. In Week 2, the Broncos will host a Houston team that allowed 161 rushing yards and a touchdown to star Colts running back Jonathan Taylor.
Sep 12, 2022 9:02 PM EST
As Monday night's season opener against the Seahawks approaches, coach Nathaniel Hackett noted that Broncos are in a "really good place" with a Week 1 backfield comprised of Williams, Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone, Zac Stevens of TheDNVR.com reports.
Analysis: Williams and Gordon, who both logged 203 carries last year, are in line to continue to handle the bulk of Denver's rushing opportunities in 2022, with Boone in reserve. Looking ahead, it's a time share that figures to tilt in Williams' favor, a notion reflected by his lofty average draft position (relative to Gordon) ahead of Week 1, but Hackett did note Friday that he's a believer in rolling with the hot hand. Either way, we expect the Broncos to find ways to get Williams his share of touches out of the gate this season, a context that should yield fantasy utility despite the continued presence of Gordon.
Sep 9, 2022 3:58 PM EST
Coach Nathaniel Hackett suggested Williams and other key players will be held out for a third straight week when the Broncos face the Vikings on Saturday in their preseason finale, Zac Stevens of TheDNVR.com reports.
Analysis: Nearly everyone, including backfield mate Melvin Gordon, expects Williams to take on a larger share of the workload in his second season. There's also the likelihood of increased offensive output overall for the Broncos with QB Russell Wilson taking over, but Williams still has Gordon lingering as a thorn in the side of fantasy managers, with the veteran likely to get a decent number of touches each week. The talented duo gets a favorable matchup to start the regular season, heading to Seattle as favorites against Wilson's former team in Week 1.
Aug 22, 2022 11:54 AM EST
Williams and other key players aren't expected to play in Saturday's preseason game against the Bills, The Denver Post reports.
Analysis: Buffalo, on the other hand, is expected to play most starters. It'll mostly be a guessing game trying to figure out the workload split between Williams and Melvin Gordon until the regular season actually starts, though Gordon did recently mention that it seems like the Broncos want Williams to be the main guy, i.e., what most had assumed anyway after his strong finish to last year. Whether that means 55 percent of the workload or closer to 70-75 percent remains to be seen.
Aug 19, 2022 1:31 PM EST
Williams is listed as the starting running back on the Broncos' first unofficial depth chart ahead of Saturday's preseason opener against the Cowboys, Zac Stevens of TheDNVR.com reports.
Analysis: The decision to list Williams as the No. 1 running back should not come as a surprise, as recent reporting has indicated that the second-year back has received the slight majority of work with the first-team offense in training camp over veteran Melvin Gordon. With Gordon on just a one-year deal and turning 30-years-old next offseason, its reasonable that Denver would favor the 22-year-old Williams to take over the reins. With that said, the coaching staff is committed to using multiple backs this season, which should cap the upside of both backs in the upcoming campaign. Offensive coordinator Justin Outten recently said the running backs will be on a pitch count this season, further complicating matters for fantasy purposes. if the Broncos insist on using both backs in a near-even split, Williams could find it difficult to meet or exceed the high expectations built in to his current draft price.
Aug 10, 2022 7:01 AM EST
Cecil Lammey of 104.3 The Fan reports that Williams has taken the first snap at six of seven practices and could get around 70 percent of the RB workload this year, while Benjamin Albright of KOA Colorado suggests the split between William and Melvin Gordon at camp has been around 55/45.
Analysis: There's widespread agreement about Williams being the No. 1 back, after Gordon had the slightly larger portion of a timeshare most of last year. The extent of Gordon's 2022 involvement is where disagreement begins, and while there's a good chance we don't really know until after Week 1, it nonetheless figures to remain a popular topic of discussion. Williams had late-first-round fantasy hype this offseason when Gordon was a free agent, with the second-year pro later dropping to a third-round ADP after the Broncos re-signed the 29-year-old in late April. Given Williams' talent along with Denver's offseason upgrade at QB, a 70/30 split should be enough to match or beat his draft price. A 55/45 split, on the other hand, would make it tricky, requiring superhuman efficiency and/or a glut of TDs.
Aug 4, 2022 1:53 PM EST
The Broncos have brought back Melvin Gordon on a one-year deal to pair with Williams in the team's backfield this coming season, ESPN's Jeff Legwold reports.
Analysis: Prior to the team bringing back Gordon, Williams seemed positioned to see a big boost in his workload this coming season, but now that the duo will be in the same backfield once again in 2022, a time-share is back in play. It's an arrangement that resulted in both players logging 203 carries in 2021 and while there should be enough touches for the pair to remain fantasy relevant, Williams' ceiling in that regard is hampered by the continued presence of the capable Gordon. Of the two, Williams continues to profile as the upside play, but as long as his veteran counterpart is available, the 2021 second-rounder's volume figures to be capped, while working in a balanced Denver offense now helmed by star QB Russell Wilson.
Apr 27, 2022 8:21 AM EST
Williams rushed 12 times for 46 yards and brought in both targets for 18 yards in the Broncos' 28-24 loss to the Chiefs on Saturday.
Analysis: Given how well and evenly Williams and Melvin Gordon worked in tandem this season, it was fitting the two split carries right down the middle for the Broncos' final contest. The rookie bounced back well from a pair of atypically inefficient outings Week 16 and 17 where he'd gained just 42 yards on 21 carries, and Saturday's production put him just over the 900-yard mark (903) to close out his first NFL season. The UNC product also generated an impressive 43-316-3 line through the air, and with Gordon slated for unrestricted free agency come the new league year, Williams could well be set to enter training camp as the clear lead back this coming summer.
Jan 8, 2022 5:52 PM EST
Williams (knee) does not carry an injury designation for Saturday's game against Kansas City after practicing fully Thursday, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.
Analysis: The same applies to Melvin Gordon (thumb/hip), which sets the stage for the duo to continue to share backfield duties in Denver's season finale. It's a time-share that caps Williams' fantasy ceiling, but more often than not he's logged enough touches to help fantasy managers this season and this weekend he'll square off against a Chiefs run defense that is allowing an average of 113.0 rushing yards per game to date.
Jan 6, 2022 1:58 PM EST
Williams (knee) was listed as a limited practice participant Wednesday, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.
Analysis: As was Melvin Gordon (thumb/hip), but at this stage there's nothing to suggest that either back will miss Saturday's game against Kansas City, even if both players approach the weekend with a Week 18 injury designation.
Jan 5, 2022 3:29 PM EST
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