On his first full day back with the team since he spent a night in the hospital last week, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak made several things clear Monday.
Near or at the top of his to-do list was to be better in the run game, and to that end rookie running back Devontae Booker can expect to get the ball in his hands more, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com reports.
“We’ve got to give Book some opportunities, he’s doing some good stuff,” Kubiak said after practice.
C.J. Anderson currently leads the team in rushing with 330 yards to go with three rushing touchdowns, but Booker has provided a spark at times for an attack that hasn’t been as consistent as Kubiak would like. Booker is averaging 4.7 yards per carry, over a yard per carry more than Anderson at the moment.
In Thursday night’s loss to the Chargers, Booker helped snap the offense out of the doldrums in the third quarter when he had carries of 17 and 16 yards to go with a 5-yard reception on a drive. While the drive ended with a missed field goal — Brandon McManus was wide right from 56 yards — the Broncos’ offense moved the ball far more efficiently after that drive than it had before it.
Kubiak said Anderson will still be involved plenty, but that Booker had simply earned more touches. In the loss to the Chargers, Booker got just five carries but he turned those into 46 rushing yards as he had two of the Broncos’ three longest plays from scrimmage in the game.
“When he’s had some opportunities he’s done some really good things,” Kubiak said. “As a young player, we’re trying to get him going as far as protection and those type of things, and he’s starting to handle himself better. I think he deserves some more opportunities to touch the football. And when he’s had the opportunity, he’s done some good stuff.”