The Denver Broncos received terribly sad news on Friday morning. Former NFL great Otis Armstrong has passed away. Armstrong was reportedly surrounded by his loved ones at the time of his death. He was 70 years old.
The Denver Broncos took Armstrong in the first-round of the 1973 NFL Draft. In his second year in the NFL, the former Purdue running back carried the rock 263 times for a then franchise record 1,407 yards and nine touchdowns. He also added 405 yards and three touchdowns receiving that year.
Armstrong played in the NFL for eight seasons and compiled 4,453 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground and 1,302 yards and seven additional scores receiving. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and one-time first-team All-Pro (1974). He was a 2013 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame as well.
We wish the family and friends of Armstrong all the best during this difficult time.
We’re saddened to learn of the passing of former Broncos RB and 1973 first-round pick Otis Armstrong.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 15, 2021
Otis Armstrong was called by many the best running back in the NFL during the 1974 season. He was the NFL’s leading rusher that year.
The Broncos released the following statement regarding Armstrong’s passing, via DenverBroncos.com:
Former Broncos running back and the team’s 1973 first-round pick, Otis Armstrong, has passed away. Armstrong passed away on Wednesday, surrounded by family and loved ones. He was 70 years old. Armstrong, whom the Broncos selected with the ninth-overall pick, played eight seasons for the Broncos from 1973-1980. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and a 1974 first-team All-Pro as he recorded 4,453 rushing yards and 25 rushing touchdowns and 131 catches for 1,302 receiving yards over his career. He also returned 37 kickoffs for 879 yards.
You can find the Broncos’ full statement here.
Armstrong is survived by his wife, Yvonne. His legacy in Denver, meanwhile, won’t soon be forgotten.