Rookie running back Devontae Booker has burst onto the scene for the Denver Broncos during recent weeks and he’s quietly cut into the carries of normal workhorse C.J. Anderson.
Booker’s emergence has forced the hand of head coach Gary Kubiak so much that the rookie is now splitting carries with Anderson. On Monday night in the Broncos win against the Houston Texans, Booker carried the ball 17 times for 83 yards compared to 16 carries for Anderson and 107 yards.
That being said, Kubiak apparently has no plans of returning the Denver offense to the days when Anderson was the lead running back. According to him, the two running back system will continue as long as possible.
“I sure hope so,” coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Tuesday about using two running backs. “Hopefully we can have that many touches in a course of a game, but I saw two guys competing. I saw fresh guys on the field and I think that was good for us, but we were also getting more room to run. Those things go hand-in-hand.”
With that in mind, the coach was adamant that Anderson has taken the reduced role in stride. Even noting that the competition with Booker has elicited a positive response from the veteran running back.
“I think C.J. has been playing well,” Kubiak said. “I think last night we did a better job up front; we gave him some more room to run. I think when guys push each other, last year it was C.J. and Ronnie [Hillman] pushing each other and I think [Booker] . . . is becoming more comfortable with what we’re doing. We’re more comfortable with [Booker] on the field in pass protection right now. We’re just growing as a group. Here we go in Week Eight and hopeful those kids keep coming along. It’s going to make us better if they do.”