Phillip Lindsay not worried about Melvin Gordon’s addition to Broncos

Passed over in the draft and signed for a paltry $15,000 bonus in 2018, Phillip Lindsay’s earned every snap he’s played in the NFL.

So when the third-year running back says his mindset isn’t changing heading into 2020 despite the Broncos’ high-profile offseason acquisition of Melvin Gordon, consider it business as usual.

“I’ve had the same fire from the first time I stepped out here to now,” Lindsay said. “I don’t need another man to fuel my fire… For me, honestly nothing changes. I go out there and I produce when my number’s called. I make big plays like I always have.”

Despite being the first undrafted player in NFL history to begin his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, the Broncos signed Gordon to a two-year, $16 million deal in March. Gordon’s $7 million in guaranteed money this year easily dwarfs Lindsay’s full salary ($750,000).

But considering Gordon played all 16 games only once in his five-year career for the Chargers — and that the 27-year-old is coming off a relative down year (3.8 yards per carry, 612 total rushing yards) — it’s hard to count out the bootstrapping Lindsay from retaining a significant role in the backfield.

That’s especially true considering Lindsay’s offseason, which saw him add about 10 pounds of muscle as the 26-year-old finally flushed the lingering effects of the fractured right wrist, and subsequent surgery, he dealt with at the end of the 2018 season.

“That wrist injury really took a toll on me when it came to working out,” Lindsay said. “I had to sit out four, five months before I rushed right into camp. I didn’t get that (weight room) development like I did this year, so I feel good, healthy, explosive, and like I’m going to have a helluva season this year.”

Lindsay caught 35 passes in each of his first two seasons, with 6.2 yards per catch overall. But he also had four drops in 2019, per Denver Post game charting.

“Pass-catching wise, I feel really good and like I’m pretty much back to myself,” Lindsay said. “The year before I came off the wrist injury and it was tougher than I thought (catching balls)… At the end of the day, I’m going to catch every ball that comes my way.”

The running back was busy with family in the offseason, welcoming his first child, a son, into the world on May 4. While he’s embraced fatherhood, Lindsay also noted it’s time for the Broncos’ young core “to hold each other accountable more” during camp in order to gel ahead of the season opener Sept. 14 against Tennessee.

Both coach Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur have been non-committal about naming a starter at running back, as the Broncos still have ample time, and a schedule of 14 training camp practices, to get their depth chart in order at the position.

Denver’s running back room also still has Royce Freeman, Lindsay’s primary backup last year, as well as newcomers LeVante Bellamy (undrafted free agent) and Jeremy Cox (free agent).

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