Schefter: Royce Freeman 'Could Miss Some Time' with Sprained Ankle

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2018

Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman (28) runs against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman suffered a sprained ankle during Thursday night's 45-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals and "could miss some time," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport followed up by reporting Freeman's injury is a high ankle sprain. Rapoport noted there is optimism that the Broncos rookie will only endure a short absence or possibly none at all, depending on the results of an MRI.

Freeman had 13 carries for 37 yards and one score, giving him 309 yards and four touchdowns on 71 carries through the first seven games of his NFL career.

The 6'0", 229-pounder managed to stay relatively healthy throughout his career at Oregon. He played in at least 11 games in each of his four years and carried the ball an average of 237 times per season. He did, however, suffer a knee injury in 2016 and had a shoulder problem last season.

Freeman impressed during his first month as a pro, and Broncos head coach Vance Joseph made it clear he wanted to get the rookie more involved in the offense.

"I'm looking forward to getting [Freeman] more touches," Joseph said after Week 4, according to the Denver Post's Kyle Fredrickson. "He needs more opportunities because he is playing good football."

Freeman's size, speed, physicality and skills make him dangerous, and Denver took him in the third round with the hopes he could take pressure off the passing game.

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As Gina Mizell of the Denver Post wrote, general manager John Elway dubbed Freeman a "big banger," and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was impressed with his "eye-popping production."

Both Freeman and fellow rookie Phillip Lindsay have shown potential in the early portion of their NFL careers. Lindsay will take on a bigger workload should Freeman miss time, perhaps giving him a chance to establish himself as the top back in Denver.

The Broncos will be back in action Oct. 28, when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC West battle.