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Star NFL Running Back Reportedly Suffered Torn ACL

Denver Broncos helmet on the field.

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 23: The helmet and gloves of Will Parks #34 of the Denver Broncos (not pictured) rests on the field before the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos lost to the rival Las Vegas Raiders yesterday, but may have suffered a bigger loss to one of their biggest stars.

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Broncos running back Javonte Williams tore his ACL. He is out for the rest of the year.

Williams earned the starting job this season after recording over 900 rushing yards and 1,200 yards from scrimmage last season. He was on pace for 1,000 rushing yards after his first three games.

Williams' second NFL season now ends with 204 rushing yards and 76 receiving yards in four games. Melvin Gordon will likely replace him as the team's starting running back.

Javonte Williams was a highly-touted prospect coming out of college in 2021. He tied the North Carolina single season touchdown record in 2020, earning All-ACC and All-American honors that year.

The Broncos made Williams the No. 35 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and the third running back off the board. He quickly proved to be worth the investment, recording two 100-yard rushing games that season.

But with Williams out, the calculus for how the Denver Broncos will put up points is going to change. Their offense ranks 29th in points scored and 21st in yards gained through four games. 

Will the loss of Javonte Williams loom large for the Broncos as we approach the middle of the season?