NFL: Broncos waive veteran RB Melvin Gordon III

The Denver Broncos waived running back Melvin Gordon III on Monday, a day after his costly red-zone fumble in the team’s overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

It was his fifth fumble in 10 games (six starts) this season.

The Broncos were up 10-7 and had a third-and-1 from the Raiders 3-yard line and Gordon took the handoff. He reached for first-down yardage, but the Raiders’ Maxx Crosby knocked the ball away. Right guard Quinn Meinerz recovered the fumble, and Brandon McManus attempted a 25-yard field goal that Crosby blocked.

The Raiders went on to win 22-16.

“In that situation, he’s got to be smart with it and he can’t fumble,” Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said. “He knows that. You just can’t do that. It’s unacceptable. We’ve got to find a way to get the ball in the end zone.”

Gordon carried the ball just three times in the second half and finished the game with eight carries for 31 yards. On the season, the 29-year-old veteran has 318 yards on 90 carries with two touchdowns and 223 yards on 25 catches.

“My share of opportunities kind of dwindled after that, but that’s my fault,” Gordon said.

A first-round selection by the then-San Diego Chargers in the 2015 NFL Draft, Gordon has 8,929 yards from scrimmage and 69 touchdowns in 109 games (94 starts) for the Chargers (2015-19) and Broncos. He has 26 career fumbles.

The move leaves the Broncos (3-7) thin in the backfield heading into their Week 12 game against the host Carolina Panthers (3-8).

Running back Chase Edmonds sustained a high ankle sprain against the Raiders and will sidelined for a few weeks, ESPN reported Monday. Edmonds has four carries for 15 yards in two games since being acquired in a Nov. 1 trade with the Miami Dolphins.

Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack are in line to handle the workload against the Panthers with Gordon gone and Edmonds ailing.

–Field Level Media

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