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DENVER — On Sunday afternoon, Phillip Lindsay sent another message to the NFL.
In leading the Denver Broncos to a massive win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the undrafted rookie out of Colorado became the first back to go over 100 yards on the Steelers this year. Not Kareem Hunt, not Christian McCaffrey, not Leonard Fournette—Phillip Lindsay.
The Broncos’ rising star totaled a career-high 110 yards and a touchdown on just 14 rushes in the contest, boasting an eye-popping 7.9 yards per carry.
What’s more? During a 32-yard burst in the first half, Lindsay reached a top speed of 22.36 MPH, marking the fastest speed any ball carrier has reached in the NFL this season. Not Tyreek Hill, not DeSean Jackson, not Marquise Goodwin—Phillip Lindsay.
But the circumstances in which Lindsay achieved all of that makes it all that much more impressive.
You’ve heard of the “Jordan Flu Game,” well, now you’ve heard of the “Lindsay Flu Game.”
“I did play sick on Sunday,” Lindsay told Matt McChesney on BSN Denver’s McChesney Unchained Podcast. “I had what I would call ‘the 24-hour bug.'”
Throughout the day leading up to the game, Lindsay had trouble keeping food and fluids down, “it came out of nowhere,” he said. Unlike Jordan’s flu game, though, in which the broadcast led with a breaking-news flash about Jordan’s condition, this one was under wraps.
“I don’t really pay too much attention to trying to be the macho man, it’s just something that happened,” he said in classic Lindsay fashion. “I knew I was going to play regardless, so I didn’t bring any attention to that.”
While he began feeling even worse throughout the game, the rookie sensation only got better, totaling 69 of his 110 yards, as well as his touchdown, in the second half.
For the outside world, it’s another chapter in the building Lindsay legend. For him, it’s just a little more adversity, something he says has become part of the lineage of this surging Broncos team.
“Adversity has definitely molded this team, and I think that you have to go through that in life,” he told McChesney. “You need to learn how to lose in order to win. When you know how it feels to lose and you understand that, then when you start winning, you don’t ever want that to ever stop.”
“You have to pick yourself up when you’re in the mud, and you have to find ways to get yourself out of it. As a man, as a woman, when you go through life, and you go through hard times, you gotta just keep going,” he added. “Everything happens for a reason, and everything comes together when it’s supposed to. For us, this team is coming together when it’s supposed to come together. You have to go through hard times. We went through blowout games, we blew people out, we went through tough games that we won, we went through tough games that we lost, we went through everything. Now we’ve been through that, when we get into games like that, we know how it is. You know how it is to be on that other side and you want to be on that winning side. Now you know you have to fight even harder, you have to dig even deeper to get that win.”
It’s safe to say Phillip Lindsay dug about as deep as one can dig to give the Broncos the performance he put out there on Sunday.