There’s word that the Denver Broncos have identified a replacement for Javonte Williams, should he get hurt. Mike Klis of 9News reports that the AFC West team has signed New Orleans Saints practice squad player Latavius Murray. After Alvin Kamara was injured, Murray got some playing time in Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings for New Orleans.
As Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported, Williams tore his ACL, LCL, and posterior lateral corner on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders, highlighting the necessity for additional running back depth for the Broncos. While at 32 years old, Murray is well past his peak, he looked strong and nimble in the London game against the Vikings.
On 11 carries, he gained 57 yards and scored once, bettering Mark Ingram II’s 10 carries for 30 yards. The Saints probably didn’t plan on being in a position where losing Murray after only four games would be a major setback, but that’s where they are now.
The former UCF Knight was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He has since played for the Oakland Raiders, the New Orleans Saints, and the Baltimore Ravens. In 2015, he led the NFL with 1,066 running yards for the Raiders and was named to the Pro Bowl. He also added 232 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
While that season was the only one in which Murray rushed for over 1,000 yards in a single campaign, he has seven campaigns with over 500 yards and has been a reliable backfield option throughout his career.
Since Williams’s departure, the Broncos have relied heavily on Melvin Gordon III, but he has already lost the ball three times in four games, so that’s exactly what they need right now. The loss to the Raiders was the scene of one of such turnovers when Mike Boone had as many carries as the veteran (three).
With quarterback Russell Wilson now under center and Williams out, Denver will likely rely more on its aerial assault, but at least it has a veteran who can help keep the club afloat in Murray. The 2-2 Broncos will face the 3-2 Indianapolis Colts in Week 5.