As the second half and overtime wore on Monday night, ESPN cameras showed Denver running back Melvin Gordon on the sideline without his helmet on and clearly frustrated.
Gordon didn’t get a carry after early in the second quarter and only played nine offensive snaps overall compared to 28 snaps for Latavius Murray and 21 for Mike Boone. After the game, he told NFL Network in the locker room that his lack of playing time caught him by surprise and that he was disappointed and frustrated.
“To tell you exactly what happened, I can’t tell you because I don’t know,” he said. … “Kinda just waiting for my number to get called so I can go out there and help my teammates.”
Head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Tuesday told reporters he planned to meet with Gordon to talk about what happened.
“We have a very good relationship and want to make sure we’re crystal clear on everything and he knows where I stand,” Hackett said. “Always want to be up front and honest with everybody. Melvin didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t. We just didn’t have a lot of plays and in the end he didn’t get the reps that he wanted. He’s a competitor, he wants to be out there helping this team. We’ll sit down and have a conversation.”
Hackett pointed to the fact that Denver only ran nine plays in the second quarter and nine more in the third quarter when asked about Gordon’s absence over the final 45 minutes.
“When it comes to the running back play … I think Latavius was doing a fine job and he had the opportunity to go another series. We just didn’t have a lot of plays. We want all those guys, need all those guys and need to make sure they’re all on the field.”
Murray, signed two weeks ago after Denver lost Javonte Williams for the year to a knee injury, finished with 15 carries for 66 yards in his Broncos debut. Gordon had three carries for 8 yards and Boone carried just once, though he played more than double Gordon’s snaps.
OLB Patrick tears ACL
Denver outside linebacker Aaron Patrick will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL on Monday night, Hackett confirmed.
Patrick was covering a punt and ran into a person on the sideline. In trying to avoid the collision, he stepped on a carpet on the sideline and landed awkwardly.
“That’s for the league to debate and talk about after seeing what happened out of bounds,” Hackett said. “Obviously player safety is the most important thing for all of us and I know the league will look into it.”
Patrick is the fifth Denver player lost to an ACL injury this year.
Also on the injury front, defensive back Essang Bassey sustained a hamstring injury against the Chargers and “is going to miss some time,” Hackett said. Patrick and Bassey have both been core special teams players this year.
WR Johnson back
The Broncos on Tuesday signed wide receiver Brandon Johnson to the practice squad, according to the NFL transaction wire. Johnson likely would have made the 53-man roster out of training camp had he not suffered a high-ankle sprain in the preseason finale. Instead he was waived with an injury settlement, cleared waivers and now is back with Denver.
Johnson, an undrafted rookie from Central Florida, made plays consistently in camp and preseason games.
In a corresponding move, Denver cut tight end and Chatfield High grad Dalton Keene from its practice squad.