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The Most Unlikely Pro Bowler in NFL History Still Lives with His Parents

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There are just five active NFL players who were born in Denver, and only one of those, Phillip Lindsay, plays for the hometown Broncos.

Lindsay grew up in suburban Aurora, Colorado, attended high school in Denver and went on to the University of Colorado, which is just 25 miles outside of the city.

With his whole life taking place in the area, it seems that Lindsay had no reason to leave his parents’ home — and he hasn’t, according to a Bleacher Report profile Thursday. Lindsay may very well be the only NFL player who still lives at his parents’ house.

Despite setting Colorado’s school record for yards from scrimmage, Lindsay wasn’t taken in the 2018 NFL draft. Soon after it ended, he received many offers to sign as an undrafted free agent, including from the hometown Broncos.

But Lindsay was mad that Denver, and everyone else, passed over him with the 256 selections in the draft. The Broncos even selected two other running backs — Oregon’s Royce Freeman in the second round and Arkansas’ David Williams in the seventh.

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So when Denver was one of the teams that gave him an undrafted free agent offer, Lindsay was against taking it despite his family wanting him to stay close by.

“I was not going to choose the Broncos,” he told Bleacher Report. “I was pissed at everybody. But mostly at them. I was like, ‘I ain’t never heard of David Williams.’ It was disrespectful. I was real close to choosing Baltimore.”

However, his mother convinced Lindsay that staying home by choosing the Broncos’ offer would be best. Unlike many other 23-year-olds, Lindsay liked the idea of staying at home, so he took Denver’s offer of a $15,000 signing bonus.

“I listened to my mother about it mainly because I would get to stay home and be at the house,” he said. “If I didn’t make the team, at least I’m home. I didn’t have to find my way back home. I thought, ‘Baltimore, damn, every time I go out the door, I’m going to get robbed.’ I never really have been out of the state. To be someplace I didn’t know anything about would be kind of hard.”

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With the uncertainty that he would make the team, Lindsay didn’t bother purchasing a home in the Denver area or even renting an apartment. He moved into his parents’ basement after spending the last five years in an apartment while at college.

It didn’t take long for Lindsay to make an impact with the Broncos, as he did it on special teams and as a running back during preseason.

Not only did Lindsay make the team, he made it over Williams, who was waived during final cuts before being added to the Broncos’ practice squad.

Lindsay started the season as a backup to fellow rookie Freeman, but he quickly showed that he was the best back on the team. Lindsay had over 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his first two games, and by midseason he had moved to the top of the depth chart.

With more responsibility placed on his shoulders, Lindsay didn’t disappoint as he rushed for 1,037 yards this season, the second most among rookies entering Week 17. The New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley is No. 1 with 1,198 yards, but he’s had 52 more carries than Lindsay.

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Lindsay also made history by being selected to the Pro Bowl, which made him the first undrafted offensive rookie to ever earn that honor.

He injured his wrist in Monday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders, which will require surgery and a three- to four-month rehab. Lindsay should be good to go for the 2019 season, in which he’ll make $570,000 and, presumably, be living on his own.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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