Elevation Causing Melvin Gordon Problems In Denver

  • By: Travis Pulver
  • Date: August 17, 2020
  • Time to read: 2 min.

The Denver Broncos think they have their quarterback of the future in Drew Lock. They have a young, talented group of wide receivers, and a decent offensive line (ranked 14th by PFF). While Phillip Lindsay has rushed for 1000+ yards in each of his two seasons, it is hard to say he is the running back of the future.

So, what do John Elway and the front office do? They add a little competition in the backfield in former Los Angeles Chargers first-round pick Melvin Gordon. Gordon had good numbers with the Chargers, but they were far from great.

That made it easier to let him walk when he refused to come down from his high asking price.   

Elway is likely hoping Gordon can give the Broncos a better receiving threat coming out of the backfield. Lindsay has 70 catches over the last two years but has only averaged 6.2 yards/catch (6.9 in 2018 and 5.6 last year).   

Gordon didn’t exactly light it up last season (7.0 yards/catch) but averaged 9.8, 8.2, and 10.2 the previous three. However, if he struggles to get accustomed to Denver’s elevation, he may not pan out there, either.   

“I’m struggling a little bit, I’m struggling a little bit up here with the altitude,” Gordon told reporters after a recent practice (via ESPN). “What I keep hearing is when we play other places, we won’t even get tired, so I’m looking forward to that.”

He also said he feels fine when he’s running the ball. But it’s between plays and practices he feels the difference in elevation. Broncos head coach Vic Fangio has said the plan is to use both Lindsay and Gordon this season. But how much each will see the field remains to be seen.

Gordon will get his first chance to show the Chargers they were wrong for letting him go when the Tennessee Titans come to Denver in Week One. That is, assuming he gets adjusted to the elevation by then.

Image Source: Jeffrey Beall / CC BY

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