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'Rock 'em, sock 'em, bop 'em Phil': Lindsay returns to energize Broncos, help key win in New England

Phillip Lindsay said he felt rusty in his first action since mid-September.

That being hit again by NFL defenders was a "shock" to his body.

That he needed to "clean up a lot of things."

The Colorado product rushed for 101 yards anyway.

After missing all but a half of football against the Titans this season, Lindsay returned Sunday in New England and was perhaps the Broncos' most consistent offensive piece.

He carried the ball 23 times, for 4.4 yards per carry, and had eight runs of at least 5 yards.

"I thought at times he looked really, really good like Phillip has always looked, and then there were times that I thought he was a little rusty, but that's to be expected," Head Coach Vic Fangio said after the 18-12 win. "He hadn't played since the first half of our opener and when, I think, you consider everything, he played good. But I think he will look at it and think he left some yards out there."

Lindsay's 100-yard output was his first since he ran for 109 yards in Week 16 of the 2019 season against the Lions, and it was the sixth time in his career he's reached the mark. 

The Broncos haven't lost when Lindsay has crossed the 100-yard mark.

Perhaps, in some ways, that's as much about the energy Lindsay brings to the field as it is about his running ability.

"Rock 'em, sock 'em, bop 'em Phil," as Drew Lock called him after the game, was his usual motivational self.

"He was ready, he was excited, and it felt good to finally have him back on the field again," Lock said of Lindsay. "He brings an energy that is infectious, without a doubt. Having him back is huge for our offense. I'm just excited to hopefully get everyone back eventually — [on the] offense and defensive side of the ball — and just really show how good this team can be." 

Lindsay, though, remains more focused on the team's inability to find the end zone than on another personal milestone.

"I feel like I've got to get some rust off," Lindsay said. "I think that it was a shock to my body, being out a month, a month and a half, and then going in there and getting hit like that. I've got to clean up a lot of things. But yeah, my offensive line did a great job. They protected me and they got me going. I'm proud of them. As a team now and as an offense, in a way, it's embarrassing not to get a touchdown when you're right there. That's something that we need to go back [to] now. Last game against the Jets, we scored a lot of touchdowns. This game we didn't. 

"That's something that we need to be consistent on. We need to go back to work on it."

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