ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As Denver Broncos rookie running back Phillip Lindsay struggled, with a badly swollen right wrist to finish off a suit-and-tie look for the chartered flight back to Denver after Monday night’s 27-14 loss to the Oakland Raiders, he joked he’d already been “Santa for everybody this year.” So a Christmas Day visit to the doctor wouldn’t get in in the way of the good tidings.
“Christmas came early,” Lindsay said. “I think it’ll be all right.”
It was not, however, as Lindsay’s exam from the team’s medical staff Tuesday revealed ligament damage in his wrist and more tests were set to be conducted to check for a fracture in one of the small bones of the wrist, according to team sources.
It means Lindsay’s season is over and, unless there is a significant change in the injury, the rookie is not expected to play in the Pro Bowl. Earlier this month, Lindsay became the first offensive player to be named to the Pro Bowl as an undrafted rookie.
Lindsay played 21 snaps in the Broncos’ Christmas Eve loss to the Raiders as he finished with 46 yards on 10 carries. Lindsay finished his rookie season with 1,037 yards to go with nine rushing touchdowns and he exited Week 16 tied for second in the league at 5.4 yards per carry.
He also finished just shy of Dominic Rhodes’ NFL record of 1,104 rushing yards by an undrafted rookie.
Lindsay’s last carry in Monday night’s game was a 7-yard gain with 4 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter. He spent the fourth quarter on the Broncos’ bench, sitting with teammates.
“I was just going through a play and it got hit and it just got numb a little bit,” Lindsay said after the game. “They took precaution and felt that I should stay out … they decided it was probably smart for me to sit out.”
Lindsay, whose right wrist was noticeably swollen, also expressed the hope the injury wasn’t serious when he offered, “It’s probably a sprain.”