Broncos sign ex-Lions running back Theo Riddick
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Blindsided by the Lions , running back Theo Riddick became an unexpected free agent just as training camps were opening across the NFL.
Broncos Draft Preview Capsule
10. DENVER (6-10)
LAST SEASON: John Elway brushed aside two consecutive dreadful drafts (which netted first-rounders Paxton Lynch and Garett Bolles) and hit mother lode with Bradley Chubb,...
Broncos offer mixed bag for next head coach
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Whoever replaces Vance Joseph as the Denver Broncos' fourth head coach in six seasons may not find a franchise quarterback awaiting him.
FANTASY PLAYS: Waiver pickups for Week 9 in football
Now your fantasy skills and strategic planning are about to be truly tested. There are six teams on byes this week: the Bengals, Cardinals, Colts, Eagles, Lions and Jaguars.
You won't be setting what you feel is a fully solid lineup. That's why you have to deftly work the waiver wire at all positions.
Chiefs capitalize for 27-23 win after Broncos ditch the run
DENVER (AP) — The Denver Broncos reeled off big run after big run against the soft underbelly of the Kansas City Chiefs defense.
Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman ran roughshod over the Chiefs. Each scored a touchdown and Freeman eluded seven defenders and dragged a linebacker into the end zone on his 14-yard score.
Broncos’ O-line revamp shows good early returns
DENVER (AP) — Revamping the offensive line has become an annual rite of spring in Denver.
Broncos make rookie Royce Freeman starting running back
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Royce Freeman is set to become the first rookie running back to start a season opener for the Denver Broncos since Hall of Famer Terrell Davis in 1995.
"It's an honor to be mentioned with a man of that caliber, a player with that type of legacy around here," Freeman said.
Coach Vance Joseph chose the third-round pick from Oregon as his starter Monday ahead of veteran Devontae Booker and fellow rookie Phillip Lindsay, who coincidentally was handed Davis' old No. 30 jersey.
Broncos Preview Capsule
DENVER BRONCOS (5-11)
New faces: QB Case Keenum, RB Royce Freeman, RB Phillip Lindsay, WR Courtland Sutton, WR DaeSean Hamilton, RT Jared Veldheer, CB Adam "Pacman" Jones, DE Clinton McDonald, ILB Jose Jewell, OLB Bradley Chubb, ILB Alexander Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock, S Su'a Cravens, CB Isaac Yiadom, P Marquette King.
Key losses: CB Aqib Talib, QB Trevor Siemian, QB Brock Osweiler, RB C.J. Anderson, TE Virgil Green, WR Cody Latimer, OL Menelik Watson, S Jamal Carter, P Riley Dixon.
FANTASY PLAYS: RB battles that could lead to split carries
There are a host of running back battles that will continue through the second week of preseason games that will eventually be resolved by either a clear winner or some sort of committee that fantasy owners dread.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — When the Denver Broncos reported to training camp they were met by cushy new team and position meeting rooms and an expanded training room that features two cryogenic chambers and a flotation pod along with other amenities courtesy of a $9.5 million facilities face-lift that capped a five-year, $45 million renovation.
Broncos Training Camp Capsule
DENVER BRONCOS (5-11)
OPEN CAMP: July 27, Englewood, Colorado
LAST YEAR: Coach Vance Joseph's first year was debacle in every phase. Denver's anemic offense cycled through three QBs during soured season that included eight-game skid, franchise's longest in half-century, and featured eight double-digit losses. Exhausted defense surrendered too many points and special teams were anything but. GM John Elway thought about firing Joseph but decided to give him second chance and then bolstered roster.
Broncos enter last day of NFL draft with 4 picks
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — John Elway has added size, strength and seasoning to the Denver Broncos' roster after spending much of the last two drafts taking chances on players who had lighter resumes and more question marks.
All four of his picks so far — North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb, SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton (who redshirted as a freshman), Oregon running back Royce Freeman and Boston College cornerback Isaac Yiadom — spent four years in college.
Broncos add 2 big bangers on offense in Sutton, Freeman
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — On Day 2 of the NFL draft, Denver Broncos general manager John Elway began fixing the mess on offense, selecting two big bangers in SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton in the second round and Oregon running back Royce Freeman in the third.
"Well, we got better on the offensive side, no question," Elway said Friday night after adding Sutton (6-foot-4, 218 pounds) and Freeman (6-foot, 238 pounds).
Each day leading up to the 2018 NFL draft, I’ll break down one of my top 50 prospects. In some cases, we had to make tough omissions because of injuries, poor combine showings or incomplete information. For more complete scouting reports on all the prospects, check out the Pro Football Weekly 2018 Draft Guide, which is available for order now.
Oregon’s top draft prospects have televised job interviews this week.
Left tackle Tyrell Crosby, running back Royce Freeman and long snapper Tanner Carew will participate in workouts Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
The NFL Network will air all four days of the on-field drills live.
The 6-foot-5, 325-pound Crosby is projected as a second- or third-round pick after returning for his senior season with the Ducks following an injury-plagued 2016 campaign.
Mario Cristobal’s first recruiting class at Oregon is signed and sealed.
Now a handful of the new Ducks will have opportunities to deliver as true freshmen, just as cornerback Thomas Graham, defensive linemen Jordon Scott and Austin Faoliu, and wide receiver Johnny Johnson did in 2017.
Oregon returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense, but there are still plenty of holes on the two-deep for newcomers to fill this fall.
Three Oregon players have officially been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Left tackle Tyrell Crosby, running back Royce Freeman and long snapper Tanner Carew will participate in the event held Feb. 27-March 5 in Indianapolis.
Oregon State running back Ryan Nall, who decided to forgo his senior season to turn professional, also received an invitation to audition for NFL teams.
We interrupt this basketball season for a return to football.
With all five Pac-12 coaching vacancies filled and the early entries for the NFL draft declared, here’s a look at how the conference’s preseason media poll might look when it comes out in six months.
Royce Freeman didn’t play, but his presence on the Oregon sideline became a topic of debate on the ESPN broadcast.
Commentator Kirk Herbstreit questioned whether Freeman should have been addressing teammates before the game, and studio analyst Mack Brown expressed similar sentiments at halftime.
The Ducks said they never considered excluding Freeman from the trip after he decided not to play.
LAS VEGAS — Royce Freeman isn’t going to roll the dice on the Las Vegas Bowl.
Oregon’s star running back will skip the game against No. 25 Boise State on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Freeman will watch the Ducks safely from the sideline with an eye on the NFL draft.
“This is hard for him now,” coach Mario Cristobal said. “This is not an easy thing for a guy like that that’s invested his heart and soul into the program. We all know the story that goes with that. It’s difficult for him.”
Oregon RB Freeman won’t play in the Las Vegas Bowl
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Oregon senior running back Royce Freeman won't play in the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State on Saturday.
New Oregon coach Mario Cristobal announced the decision Thursday.
Oregon's all-time leading rusher had practiced earlier this week in Las Vegas, leading to speculation he may play.
"This is hard for him. This is not an easy decision for a guy who's invested his heart and soul in this program," Cristobal said.
Las Vegas Bowl matchup
Boise State (10-3, Mountain West) vs Oregon (7-5, Pac-12), Dec. 16, 3:30 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Las Vegas
Boise State: QB Brett Rypien, 2,515 yards passing, 14 TDs
Oregon: RB Royce Freeman, 1,475 yards rushing, 16 TDs
Boise State: The Broncos avenged a loss to Fresno State the week before by beating the Bulldogs 17-14 in the Mountain West title game.
The Ducks will have a week to bask in the glow of their dominant Civil War victory.
Oregon will find out its bowl destination and opponent next Sunday after finishing coach Willie Taggart’s first season 7-5 overall and 4-5 in Pac-12 play.
The most likely landing spot for Oregon is the Cactus Bowl on Dec. 26 in Phoenix against a Big 12 opponent.
Royce Freeman spent his final game at Autzen Stadium bowling over Beavers and knocking down milestones.
Oregon’s record-setting senior running back rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries in 2 1/2 quarters of work as the Ducks hammered Oregon State 69-10 on Saturday in the last regular season game of the 2017 season.
With first-half scoring runs of two and 13 yards, Freeman pushed his career total to 60 rushing touchdowns and broke former Beaver Ken Simonton’s Pac-12 record of 59.
Oregon routs Oregon State 69-10 in the Civil War
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Royce Freeman was asked about his career milestones after he collected a few more in the Civil War.
While running for 122 yards and two scores in Oregon's 69-10 rout of Oregon State on Saturday night, Freeman set a new Pac-12 record for career rushing touchdowns.
"I think it means that I'm kind of old now," said the normally stoic senior, who lingered on the field with fans after his final game at Autzen Stadium.
Royce Freeman sets Pac-12 rushing TD record
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's Royce Freeman set a Pac-12 record for career rushing touchdowns with his second touchdown Saturday against Oregon State.
The senior running back ran for a 2-yard touchdown in the opening quarter, then added a 13-yard scoring run before halftime, bringing his career total to 60.
He broke Ken Simonton's conference mark of 59 set at Oregon State between 1998-01.
Before Justin Herbert left Oregon’s victory over California on Sept. 30 with a broken collarbone, Royce Freeman was the biggest injury concern for the Ducks on that day.
Royce Freeman waited nearly two months to become Oregon’s all-time leader in touchdowns.
The senior went six games in a row without reaching the end zone before scoring four times in Oregon’s 48-28 victory over Arizona on Saturday night at Autzen Stadium.
“It was kind of frustrating. I try to get into the end zone to help my team in any way possible,” Freeman said. “It felt good to break through today.”
Herbert returns, Oregon beats Arizona 48-28
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The Ducks obviously missed Justin Herbert.
Oregon's starting quarterback returned after a five-game absence and helped lead the team to a 48-28 victory over Arizona on Saturday night. Royce Freeman ran for four touchdowns in the win, which made Ducks (6-5, 3-4) bowl eligible in coach Willie Taggart's first year as head coach.
Seniors who stayed having impact in Pac-12
Shortly after he was hired by the Ducks last year, Oregon coach Willie Taggart traveled to Imperial, California, to convince running back Royce Freeman to stay in Eugene for his senior season.
It was no casual detour on Taggart's holiday break. Imperial is about a two hour's drive east of San Diego.
"When I was getting ready to leave, he walked me out to the car and said, 'Coach, I'm coming back,' and I screamed like a cheerleader 'Yeeaaahhhh!'" Taggart said.
No. 12 Washington goes for 2 straight over rival Oregon
Oregon (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) at No. 12 Washington (7-1, 4-1, CFP No. 12), Saturday, 10 p.m. (FS1)
Oregon’s offense didn’t get its front man back.
But the rest of the backfield band was back together during the Ducks’ 41-20 victory over Utah on Saturday at Autzen Stadium.
Royce Freeman, Tony Brooks-James, Kani Benoit and Taj Griffin all contributed at running back as Oregon piled up 347 rushing yards. The Utes entered the game allowing an average of 131.9 rushing yards before getting run over by the Ducks’ four horsemen.
PASADENA, Calif. — Willie Taggart paused during his postgame press conference when asked about any positives he took away from Oregon’s 31-14 loss to UCLA.
“Royce Freeman,” finally popped into the first-year coach’s mind.
Freeman made history on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, rushing for a season-high 160 yards to pass LaMichael James as Oregon’s career rushing leader.
The 6-foot senior from Imperial, Calif., now has 5,103 yards. James ran for 5,082 in Chip Kelly’s offense from 2009-11.
Not many players have been able to catch LaMichael James from behind.
It is taking longer than originally planned for Royce Freeman, but Oregon’s star running back has a chance to run down James’ career rushing record against UCLA on Saturday at the Rose Bowl (1 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).
Freeman needs 140 yards to eclipse the 5,082 rushing yards James accumulated with the Ducks in Chip Kelly’s offense during three electrifying seasons (2009-11).
Erik Powell’s field goals – including career long 52-yarder – give No. 11 Washington State 13-10 halftime lead over Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. – A career-long field 52-yard field goal from Erik Powell is the only thing separating No. 11 Washington State and Oregon at Autzen Stadium.
Powell’s kick in the second quarter gave the Cougars a 13-10 lead at the end of a back-and-forth first half between the Pac-12 North foes.
Video: Washington State outside linebackers coach Roy Manning post practice Oct. 5
Cougars outside linebackers coach talks about Thursday Night Football and preparing to face Oregon running back Royce Freeman.
Oregon QB Justin Herbert out with fractured collarbone
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is out "for a while" because of a fractured collarbone, coach Willie Taggart said Monday.
Taggart also said at his weekly news conference that junior linebacker Kaulana Apelu is out for the season with an ankle fracture.
Oregon plagued by injuries in 45-24 win over California
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The adversity came at the Oregon Ducks fast.
Quarterback Justin Herbert, running back Royce Freeman and receiver Dillon Mitchell were all injured in the first half of Oregon's 45-24 victory over California on Saturday night. Backup QB Taylor Alie was knocked out of the game in the final quarter.
"I've never been a part of that many," first-year Ducks coach Willie Taggart said. "Whew, that was crazy."
Freeman and Herbert both leave game against Cal
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon running back Royce Freeman, quarterback Justin Herbert and receiver Dillon Mitchell all left in the first half against California on Saturday night.
Freeman headed for the locker room accompanied by a trainer with more than eight minutes to go in the first quarter. The exact nature of the injury was unclear, but it appeared to be a shoulder.
Freeman and Oregon rush past Wyoming as Allen struggles
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The NFL scouts came to see Josh Allen face a Power Five team. Instead of boosting his draft stock, the big Wyoming quarterback took a beating from Oregon.
Royce Freeman ran for three touchdowns in the first half and the Ducks roughed up Allen in a 49-13 victory over the Cowboys on Saturday night.
Oregon's offense is more than just an aerial attack. The Ducks are second in the Pac-12 with 274.5 rushing yards per game, and Freeman has been a big part of that. The senior currently is tied for first in the nation with six rushing touchdowns. He ranks eighth in the nation in rushing yards per game (151.5) and fourth in the Pac-12 with 5.83 yards per carry.
Herbert throws for 3 TDs and Oregon beats Nebraska 42-35
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Maligned last season, Oregon's defense thwarted Nebraska's comeback.
The Huskers were down 42-14 at the half but rallied with three unanswered touchdowns. Then Tanner Lee was intercepted on what would be Nebraska's final drive of the game, and the Ducks held on for a 42-35 victory on Saturday.
Freeman runs for 4 TDs and Oregon beats Southern Utah 77-21
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The Willie Taggart era at Oregon got off to a fast start with Tony Brooks-James' 100-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff against Southern Utah.
Fitting for a team that's (still) known for speed.
Royce Freeman ran for 150 yards and four touchdowns and the Ducks routed the Thunderbirds 77-21 on Saturday for Taggart's debut as Oregon's head coach. It was the most points for the Ducks in a single game since 1916.
Oregon QB worked to become a leader in the offseason
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert had what was essentially a two-pronged approach to the offseason: Become stronger and become a leader.
Herbert put on muscle, prompting Ducks first-year coach Willie Taggart to joke that the sophomore signal-caller kept strutting around shirtless. Herbert worked on the leadership part, too, as a counselor at the Manning camp in Louisiana.
Armed with a degree, Oregon’s Freeman looks to senior season
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — After the trials of last season, Oregon running back Royce Freeman appears to have emerged with two things: a college degree and a brighter outlook.
The senior, who opted to stay with the Ducks rather than enter the NFL draft this spring, heads into the season with 936 career rushing yards to go to reach LaMichael James' Oregon record of 5,082.
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — There is much talk about a culture change at Oregon, and it seems as if the players are taking it to heart.
Quarterback Justin Herbert was thrown into the starter's role last season as a shy freshman. He's since put 15 pounds on his lanky 6-foot-6 frame and new coach Willie Taggart joked that he's been strutting around without a shirt on.
Then there's running back Royce Freeman, already a physical force, who Taggart said has changed both his attitude and his approach.
Herbert and Carrington shine in Oregon’s Spring Game
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Justin Herbert threw for 327 yards and found Darren Carrington for three touchdowns in Oregon's first Spring Game under new coach Willie Taggart on Saturday.
The vibe around the annual event was totally different than in past years: Instead of building on previous successes, the Ducks are — almost — starting fresh.
There are a few familiar faces, notably Carrington and running back Royce Freeman, but it is clear the Ducks are now Taggart's team.
Pac-12 players poised to break out in the fall
PHOENIX (AP) — A look at football players in the Pac-12 this spring who are poised to have standout seasons beginning this fall:
Oregon RB Royce Freeman, LT Tyrell Crosby to return
Oregon running back Royce Freeman says he'll return to the Ducks for his senior year.
Freeman, who was hampered by injuries this season, announced his decision through the school Wednesday. Left tackle Tyrell Crosby, sidelined for the season's last nine games with a foot injury, went on social media to say he would also return for his senior season.