Javonte Williams’ season is over. The Broncos RB hyperextended his knee late in week 4 and had to be helped off of the field. This mechanism of injury can cause a variety of injuries, from a mild bone bruise to a torn ACL.
An MRI on Monday confirmed significant damage to Williams’ knee. He is dealing with a torn ACL and LCL along with associated posterior damage to the joint. These multi-ligament injuries come with a longer and more complicated recovery time than an isolated ACL tear. The LCL, lateral collateral ligament, runs along the outside of the knee. It isn’t damaged nearly as often as the MCL, which is on the opposite side of the knee. The LCL is important for lateral movements and knee stability.
If Williams does not suffer any setbacks throughout his recovery he has a chance to be cleared in time to play in week 1 next season, but it’s no guarantee. When there is damage to multiple ligaments and structures in the knee the recovery can take a lot longer. Realistically Williams won’t be back to 100% in 2023, even though he is likely to be available. A majority of RBs and WRs see a significant improvement in year 2 following a torn ACL but experience a dip in production in year 1.
In four games this season Williams rushed 47 times for 204 yards and has 16 receptions for 76 yards. He did not score any touchdowns.
Without Williams the Broncos will rely on Melvin Gordon III as their RB1. Gordon has struggled this season, especially with ball security. He has five fumbles in just 44 carries this season. Gordon has 37 rushes for 39 yards (3.8 YPC) and one touchdown this season.