ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos have waived veteran running back Melvin Gordon III, the team announced Monday.
Gordon, who started six games for the Broncos this season, recorded 70 all-purpose yards against the Raiders on Sunday, but he had a costly fumble just short of the goal line at the end of the first half. While Denver recovered the fumble, the Broncos went from a chance to score a touchdown to go up 17-7 to a field-goal try, which was blocked.
It was Gordon's fifth fumble of the season, his most since 2015 when he was a rookie.
"He's scored a lot of touchdowns down there for us," Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said after the game. "He's been in our tank package, our goal-line package. He's had a lot of opportunities there, and he's scored a lot of touchdowns for us. In that situation, he has to be smart with it. He can't fumble. He knows that you just can't do that. That's unacceptable. We have to find a way to get the ball in the end zone and, at that moment, it was Melvin. We had another running back go down, so we only had two, so he was in there and he had a fumble."
Gordon joined the Broncos as a free agent in 2020. Over the past three seasons, he recorded 508 rushes for 2,222 yards and 19 touchdowns and 85 receptions for 594 yards and three touchdowns.
The Broncos now have three running backs on the active roster: Latavius Murray, Chase Edmonds and Marlon Mack. Since joining the team ahead of a Week 6 game against the Chargers, Murray has led Denver in rushing with 209 yards and three touchdowns on 63 carries. Edmonds, who was acquired from the Dolphins in a midseason trade, left Sunday's game with an ankle injury and did not return.
Denver also has fourth-year veteran Devine Ozigbo on the practice squad. Mike Boone, who leads Denver running backs in rushing average (5.5 yards per carry), is on injured reserve, but he could be a candidate to return. Before Boone was placed on IR on Oct. 24, Hackett said they expected him to miss "a couple weeks." Denver is able to open Boone's practice window in Week 12 to evaluate whether he can return, if the Broncos so choose.