ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — The Broncos refrained from running back Melvin Gordon III Monday after he fumbled Sunday — for the fifth time this season — in an overtime loss to the Raiders, Denver’s sixth loss in seven games.
Gordon, 29, is the Broncos’ leader in carries (90) and rushing yards (318) this season. But in Sunday’s 16-16 loss, Gordon fiddled with the Raiders’ 2-yard line just before halftime.
Although Broncos guard Quinn Meinerz recovered the fumble, kicker Brandon McManus’ 25-yard field goal attempt was blocked in the next game. A touchdown would have given the Broncos a 17-7 halftime lead; a field goal would have given them a 13-7 lead.
“He’s a real professional, he’s done a lot of good things here… we thought it was for the best of the team and we went ahead and wished him the best of luck. I think it’s great for him to have a fresh start,” Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said Monday.
It was Gordon’s second fumble this season at the opponent’s 2-yard line or closer to the goal line. Gordon fumbled at the Seattle Seahawks 1-yard line in the Broncos’ 17-16 season-opener loss.
Gordon’s fumble in a Week 4 loss to the Raiders was returned for a touchdown.
“I was obviously fed up with it,” Gordon said after Sunday’s defeat. “I kind of know at this point what’s coming after that. I shot myself in the knee. I’m a little salty for feeling it [Sunday]. That happened and I kind of knew I had to find a way to get back into the rhythm. I knew it was going to be tough. I tried to make a splash here and there after that, but my percentage of opportunities kind of dwindled after that, so that’s my fault.
Since Javonte Williams suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 4, Gordon has at times resented his role on a struggling offense — the Broncos are last in the league to score at 14.7 points per game. After Sunday’s fumble, Gordon didn’t get another carry until 13 minutes and 28 seconds remained in the fourth quarter.
Latavius Murray, 32, was signed off the New Orleans Saints practice team on Oct. 4 and has since led the team in fast attempts (63) despite playing one fewer game than Gordon in that span. The Broncos also added Marlon Mack to the roster earlier this month, but he has no carry.
Gordon’s downfall comes as running back Chase Edmonds, who the Broncos acquired as part of the trade of outside linebacker Bradley Chubb to the Miami Dolphins, suffered a right ankle injury on Sunday and left the stadium with a hiking boot on his lower right leg and ankle. Hackett said Monday that Edmonds has a serious ankle sprain and will miss “a lot of time” with the injury.
“It’s not that we didn’t regain the ball…it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get three points after that,” Gordon said on Sunday. “…We had two quarters left, we still had a chance to get points after that so it wasn’t the end of the world but unfortunately for me it was something that happened.”
Gordon played 41 games for the Broncos in the last three seasons, 22 total touchdowns (19 rushing, three received) but also had 12 total fumbles during that time, nine of which were recovered by Broncos opponents.
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35076318/broncos-waive-rb-melvin-gordon-latest-fumble Broncos waive RB Melvin Gordon after latest fumble