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Broncos waive running back Melvin Gordon after latest fumble

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Melvin Gordon III of the Denver Broncos rushes for yards in the first quarter of a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field At Mile High on Nov. 20, 2022, in Denver.

Melvin Gordon III (25) of the Denver Broncos rushes for yards in the first quarter of a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field At Mile High on Nov. 20, 2022, in Denver. Denver announced it waived Gordon after his latest fumble. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images/TNS)

Melvin Gordon’s fifth fumble of the season was his final one for the Broncos.

Denver announced Monday morning that it waived the veteran running back amid continued ball security issues. Gordon was in his third season with the Broncos and eighth overall in the NFL.

He had started every game for Denver since the team lost Javonte Williams to injury in Week 4, but his workload varied by the week. In recent weeks, he had split carries with Latavius Murray. On Sunday against the Raiders, Gordon lost a fumble at the Raiders’ 1-yard line that cost the Broncos a chance at extending a first-half lead just before halftime.

It was Gordon’s fifth fumble of the season. He lost one on the goal line against Seattle in the team’s season opener and had a fumble returned for a game-swinging touchdown against the Raiders in Week 4.

Head coach Nathaniel Hackett after the game called Gordon’s fumble, “unacceptable.” In 41 career games with the Broncos, Gordon fumbled 12 times. Half of those came in his final 11 games with the franchise.

On the season, Gordon carried 90 times for 318 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns and added 25 catches (32 targets) for 223 yards. In his Broncos career, the Kenosha, Wisconsin native rushed for 2,222 yards (4.4 per carry) and 19 touchdowns.

The move sets Murray up to be Denver’s primary running back going forward. Marlon Mack has been inactive all three games since being signed off of San Francisco’s practice sqaud, but is likely to be the No. 2 back for the short-term after the Broncos lost Chase Edmonds to an ankle injury against the Raiders. Denver could also elevate Devine Ozigbo from the practice squad. Mike Boone is currently on injured reserve with an ankle injury, but he did conditioning work on the side field for the Broncos last week and could return to the mix yet this month.

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