Phillip Lindsay 'going to battle' Melvin Gordon for job
Every report emanating from Denver since the Broncos hired Melvin Gordon has included the expectation that the ex-L.A. Charger is projected to be the lead running back.
Perhaps those intentions will prove true. Perhaps Gordon’s three-down capability will prove a better fit in new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s scheme. Perhaps Gordon brushes aside last year’s struggles and returns to the bulldozing force who generated 5.1 scrimmage yards per touch prior to last year’s holdout.
One touch of warning to anyone assuming Gordon will be handed the job: Bet against Phillip Lindsay at your own risk.
"When camp comes around, it’s going to be a battle,” Lindsay told Mike Klis of 9News Denver in a phone interview. "I’m not just going to sit there and give somebody the job. They can. But I’m going to go out there and I’m going to battle.
"I’ve heard this stuff my whole entire life. And it’s never ever panned out how everybody has wanted it to pan out. Until someone proves me wrong, I’m going to continue to do what I do.”
An undrafted free agent in 2018, Lindsay blasted his way atop the depth chart in Denver, passing third-round pick Royce Freeman swiftly. The pint-sized bulldozer earned back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to open his career.
Lindsay made it clear, however, that he doesn’t view Gordon as an opponent for touches and told Klis he’s not looking to get traded.
"Melvin’s not my enemy,” Lindsay said. "He’s my teammate. He needs to do his job but best believe I’m going to do my job.”
The Broncos signed Gordon to a two-year, $16 million contract, with $13.5 million guaranteed. Lindsay, who is set to earn a base salary of $750,000, waits for his new deal.
"I feel like I’ve outplayed my contract and I deserve to take care of my family, too,” he said. "But I’m under contract still. For me, my mindset is to play out my contract. The fact is, nothing has to be done. You can’t make anybody do something they don’t want to do.
"And so for me, I put pen to paper, I’ll be here. I didn’t know how the contract worked but I put pen to paper for a certain number of years and I’m going to play my contract and go from there.
"I love the game of football and I love being out here. I never look at money. Money is going to come when it comes. But I was a top five running back the year before and top 15 this year so I feel like I am outplaying my contract, but at the end of the day I’ll continue to play with the contract they gave me."
Like the rest of the world, the 25-year-old is hunkered down due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. With his first child, a son, on the way in May, the running back is focusing on more than just his football future.
"Right now my baby boy is the biggest part of my life,” Lindsay said. "I can’t control anybody giving me money but when it’s time to play football, I’ll be there.
"We don’t know what’s going to happen. People are dying. You’re trying not to get sick. For me, I’m about to bring a new life into the world whose immune system isn’t going to be as strong, so I have to make sure I protect him.
"It goes to show you football is your job, but you still have another life you have to live. When football is going on, I’ll be ready for football. But until then, I’m going to continue to work out and put my priorities first and that’s my son on the way."
Whenever the NFL’s offseason resumes, expect Lindsay to battle Gordon for every snap. Fighting is all he knows.
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