Denver Broncos fans have seen plenty of little-known running backs emerge as key contributors over the years.
Terrell Davis is, of course, the most notable example, and Phillip Lindsay is the most recent example. But a running back doesn’t have to become a Pro Football Hall of Famer like Davis or even a Pro Bowler like Lindsay to endear himself to fans in Denver.
Last summer, Damarea Crockett impressed during preseason and went on to have a key role on special teams in 2021. After going down with a knee injury earlier this week, Crockett will miss the 2022 season and his RB4 role is up for grabs.
To fill Crockett’s former spot on the active roster, the Broncos signed rookie Max Borghi, who tried out for the team in June. Denver liked what they saw from Borghi at the June tryout but didn’t have room for him on the roster at the time.
“Max, he came in — I think it was mini camp and he did a fine job,” coach Nathaniel Hackett said on Thursday. “I think at that time due to our numbers, we couldn’t bring him on [in June], but he was somebody that we wanted to take a look at. He’s a real smart guy — busted his butt and that’s what you need.
“Just that mindset that he’s got and now he has to pick it all up because he’s only had a day or two. This is always the trick when those guys come into training camp. All of these other guys have had [the] offseason and all of that stuff. Now they have to dive in and try and learn the entire system. I think that’s something he showed he can still do.”
When Crockett’s injury created an open spot on the roster, the Broncos signed Borghi, and his competition for the RB4 spot is fellow undrafted rookie Tyreik McAllister. Borghi won’t jump Melvin Gordon, Javonte Williams or Mike Boone on the depth chart, but he will have a shot to make the 53-man roster.
Crockett demonstrated last year that even a fourth-string running back can make an impact. Borghi will aim to prove he’s up for the task during preseason.