Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman pushing for lead role in backfield

By The Sports Xchange  |  June 25, 2018 at 1:45 PM
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Denver Broncos rookie Royce Freeman has a chance to be the team's starting running back, head coach Vance Joseph said.

"Absolutely," Joseph said of Freeman's opportunity, per ESPN.

The Broncos' backfield has been in motion since last season's leading rusher, C.J. Anderson, moved on to the Carolina Panthers. Anderson recorded a career-high 1,007 yards on 245 carries last season before signing a one-year, $1.7 million deal with the Panthers.

Freeman, who was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, is expected to challenge Devontae Booker for the leading role. Booker, 26, rushed 79 times for 299 yards with one touchdown in 13 games last season.

The 22-year-old Freeman holds multiple school records at Oregon, including career rushing yards (5,621), all-purpose yards (6,435), total touchdowns (64) and rushing touchdowns (60).

"I think I showed durability and the ability to be there game in, game out," the 6-foot, 229-pound Freeman said. "I think I showed at Oregon I can deliver the blow as a runner. I'm excited to compete, and we have a good environment in the running back room. I think we do want to see each other do well."

Freeman rushed for 1,475 yards and 16 touchdowns last season after an injury-plagued junior campaign. His career rushing yardage is the second-most in Pac-12 history behind former USC back Charles White (6,245).

De'Angelo Henderson, rookies Phillip Lindsay and David Williams as well as fullback Andy Janovich are also in the mix for carries in Denver.

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