ENGLEWOOD — Broncos running back Melvin Gordon was his honest self Thursday.
The seven-year veteran spoke candidly about his future with the Broncos, which is uncertain after this season as he's set to become a free agent. Gordon is currently in his second year as Denver's starting running back.
But in those two seasons, Gordon has found himself in a unique situation, splitting reps with fan-favorite Phillip Lindsay in 2020 and now rookie Javonte Williams, who appears to be the Broncos' long-term back. This has led Gordon to question his future in Denver.
"Have I been thinking about it? Hell yeah I’m thinking about it," said Gordon, who spent his first five NFL seasons with the Chargers. "I’d love to be here, man. I want to be here. I don’t think many people want me here as far as the fans, man. I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff. And I understand. I understand, I get it."
Gordon is probably somewhat underappreciated, as he's rushed for 605 yards and five touchdowns this season on only 135 carries. Last season, he rushed for 986 yards and nine touchdowns on 215 carries.
And like he said, he understands fans are excited for the future with a guy like Williams. But he also admitted he believes he can be a part of that future as well.
"I love it here, I love the guys here," Gordon said. "Great group of guys, role models — younger and older — to follow, and it’s just a great atmosphere. I love the fans regardless of the hate right now. I think it’s mostly because of fantasy, honestly. The fantasy football, man, it gets people a little tight in the rear end. I’m excited to be here. I’d love to be here. They do good with running backs here. When we run the ball, we can really be dangerous, as you can see.
"I feel like with that O-line we got right now, they’re going to be really special. They’re going to be really special. We’ve got some young guys that are really talented. I’ve had quite a few years where my line wasn’t as great. You see something blossoming, and you want to be a part of it. Hopefully, God willing, I am."
Surtain earns prestigious award
Rookie cornerback Pat Surtain II was named the Broncos nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award on Thursday, making him the only rookie in the league to be nominated for the honor. The award is presented each year to a player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship and integrity.
"That’s a hell of an award for him and a hell of an honor," coach Vic Fangio said. "I don’t know how they go about nominating those guys, but they surely picked a guy who’s very worthy of it."
No Broncos missed practice Thursday, with outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (shoulder/ankle) and defensive end Shelby Harris (ankle) both returning to practice in a limited capacity. Cornerback Bryce Callahan was also back at practice, after returning from the injured reserve on Wednesday. Fangio said Callahan has done "fine" in his return with his status for Sunday is unknown. And as for Gordon, who missed Sunday's game with a hip injury, he said Thursday he expects to play against the Lions this weekend.