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Way Back When: Where Phillip Lindsay's season is tracking in Broncos history for undrafted rookie running backs

There is no question that one of the brightest players on the Denver Broncos this year is Phillip Lindsay.

Everyone loves the play and attitude of the undrafted rookie running back from the University of Colorado, but the most uncommon aspect of his situation, what really makes it special, is that Lindsay was not drafted.

All 32 teams passed on him for seven rounds before Denver signed Lindsay as a free agent.

Local boy makes good.

But here is how rare his situation truly is:

Just over the season's halfway mark, Lindsay has already posted the 10th-most rushing yards by a rookie in franchise history.

He has 591 rushing yards, good for sixth in the NFL, and at the halfway mark, he is the only running back in the league with fewer than 100 carries.

In Broncos history, 59 years of play, Lindsay is just the fifth undrafted rookie running back with significant stats.

But that list includes Wendell Hayes — who had 411 rushing yards in 1966, even before Floyd Little — and Hayes, while undrafted, had been cut in camps by Dallas, Denver and Oakland, which is way more camp experience than Lindsay had.

Mike Bell was second in rushing on the Broncos with 677 yards in 2006, and rookie Selvin Young had 729 yards in 2007.

The gold standard for Bronco undrafted rookie running backs so far though has been C.J. Anderson, a five-year player here and a vital cog on our Super Bowl 50 championship team. But in 2013, Anderson's rookie year, he was a reserve who ran for just 38 yards for the season.

These references only point out how rare it is for Lindsay to be doing all this.

After fellow rookie Royce Freeman (who's having a terrific season of his own, too!) was sidelined with an ankle injury recently, Lindsay became the first undrafted rookie to start in the NFL since Washington's Rob Kelley in 2016.

The most yards for a Broncos undrafted rookie running back are the 729 by Young, and Lindsay certainly is within striking distance at 591 with seven games left to play.

So while you are enjoying the season Phillip Lindsay is having for the Broncos, take just a moment to realize how truly rare it is.

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