Thursday, December 2, 2021

Former Broncos running back Otis Armstrong dies at age 70

The Broncos announced Friday that the team’s first-round draft pick in 1973, Otis Armstrong, died Wednesday at the age of 70.

Armstrong played for the Broncos from 1973–80, made two Pro Bowls and finished with 4,453 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns and caught 131 passes with seven touchdowns.

Upon arriving from Purdue, where he was eventually named a member of the football program’s all-time team, Armstrong earned praise from coach John Ralston for his speed.

“He’s on the ‘blurry’ side of 4.4 (seconds) in the 40-yard dash,” Ralston told The Denver Post.

Armstrong ranks fourth in Broncos history in yards and attempts (1,023). His best year was 1974, when he was named a first-team All-Pro after rushing a league-leading 1,407 yards. He ran for at least 100 yards in seven of the Broncos’ 14 games.

Armstrong played in five playoff games, including the Broncos’ first Super Bowl appearance since the 1977 season, defeating Dallas.

Nearly a half-century after leaving Purdue, Armstrong still holds first in Boilermakers’ history (670) and third yards (3,315), and his 276-yard program against Indiana in 1972 holds the single-game record. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

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Armstrong was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in ’14 and lived in the Denver area after his retirement.

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