Spring 2021 Magazine

Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay becomes first undrafted offensive rookie to make Pro Bowl

Despite being a semifinalist for the 2017 Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation’s top college running back, Phillip Lindsay didn’t get an invite to the 2018 NFL Combine. Despite leaving the University of Colorado as the school’s record holder for all-purpose yards and yards from scrimmage, Lindsay was not selected in the 2018 NFL Draft.

But now he’s a Pro Bowler.

He signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent, and was fifth on the depth chart when the team opened training camp. His odds of making the team appeared long, considering the Broncos spent two draft picks on running backs.

But as camp wore on, Lindsay displayed the speed and shiftiness that made him so successful in college. He eventually took over starting RB duties, and he now not only leads the team in rushing but is just nine yards from hitting the 1,000-yard mark.

And now he’s a Pro Bowler. He’s actually the first undrafted offensive player in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Everson Walls, a Dallas defensive back in 1981, is the only other undrafted rookie to accomplish the feat.

In 14 games (seven starts), Lindsay has averaged 5.5 yards per carry (182 rushes for 991 yards) to go with nine touchdowns. He also has 33 receptions for 230 yards with one TD. Lindsay is the only NFL player currently ranked in the NFL’s top five for rushing yards (fifth), rushing average (second) and rushing touchdowns (tied for fifth).

And should Lindsay gain those nine yards on the ground in his two remaining games, he’d be the third undrafted rookie in NFL history to reach 1,000 rushing yards.

“Without God none of this would come true, all glory goes to Him,” Lindsay writes on his Twitter profile.

Lindsay, a Denver native playing for his hometown team, knows he is blessed. His NFL dreams were once in doubt, and so were his college aspirations after a severe ACL tear during his senior year at Denver South High School. But that experience became a time of spiritual growth that has propelled Lindsay’s journey to this day.

“That’s when God taught me one of His most important lessons — that it’s not about me,” Lindsay wrote for AthletesForGod.com this summer. “It was a long overdue lesson that I needed to learn. God is going to humble you — regardless of whether it’s in football or life in general, you are going to be humbled at some point. But once we realize that we can’t do everything on our own, we start to realize that we need God in our lives.”

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