After the final roster cuts, when the Denver Broncos 53-man was set, Phillip Lindsay made a call to Terrell Davis.
Lindsay was going to be wearing number 30 for the Denver Broncos and wanted to clear that with the man who won Super Bowl and League MVP awards as well as a spot on the NFL all-1990’s team while rocking the 30 on his chest.
Davis, a sixth-round draft choice himself, identified with the undrafted Lindsay and his training camp rise on the depth chart. It mirrored Davis’ path to Broncos stardom. His response to the respect the young man had shown him was summed up in a simple hashtag: #makeityours
For Broncos fans, it’s as fun to see Terrell Davis delighted by Phillip Lindsay as it is to watch Lindsay play. It has felt like the Broncos have been denied that breakout, special player for quite some time. Honestly, since Davis broke through on special teams and made Hall-of-Fame history in Denver, there hasn’t been anyone with the impact potential that Lindsay has shown through two games.
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Consider Lindsay’s 29 carries for 178-yards and 3 catches for 35-yards and a touchdown. He is the only undrafted rookie to ever eclipse 100 total yards in each of his first two NFL games. He’s in the middle of nearly every tackle on punt coverage. He blocks in the backfield. He is fast and shifty.
Most importantly? He’s ours.
From Aurora to Denver South to Boulder to the Broncos, Lindsay has always been ours. For a rookie, it feels like we’ve seen him for a long time.
Have you ever seen a player like Tyreek Hill in Kansas City and thought “why don’t we get a guy like that”? Lindsay is that guy.
I mentioned in my Broncos postgame that it’s time to stop thinking of Lindsay as a novelty or feel-good fringe player story. He is a football player and an integral part of Bill Musgrave‘s Denver offense.
I had the pleasure of riding across town with a Canadian gentleman and we got on the subject of the Broncos. His commentary was that while Lindsay is spectacular and special, he is also small and is going to get hurt. “It’s physics” was the comment.
It got me thinking about the plight of undersized players in professional sports. For every Doug Flutie, Isaiah Thomas and Theo Fleury, there are a thousand guys that don’t make it. They have heart and skill but size is an issue. There’s no way to predict Lindsay’s health but in his career at Colorado (2013-17), he played in every game and was never injured.
It’s not out-of-line to expect that Lindsay can be one of those guys that breaks through and has a successful NFL career at 5’8″. Darren Sproles comes to mind as an example.
We have to wait and see how Phillip Lindsay will make his way in the NFL and that is difficult, the waiting. In the meantime, man is it fun to continue to watch the young man play football.
Just ask TD.