Eddie Royal - Professional Career - Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos

Royal was drafted in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.

Royal started and played in his first NFL regular season game on September 8, 2008, in a 41-14 road win over the Oakland Raiders. He caught nine balls for 146 yards and one touchdown in his debut. Royal's 146 receiving yards were the most by any wide receiver in the first week of the 2008 NFL regular season. His nine receptions were the most by a rookie making his debut for the Broncos. Royal's first career touchdown catch came in the first quarter of the game on a 26-yard pass from former Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler. Royal's opening week performance yielded voters on NFL.com to select him as the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week out of five finalists.

In Royal's second game of the season, he caught five passes for 37 yards and one touchdown, as part of a 39-38 Broncos home win over the San Diego Chargers. His touchdown catch came with 24 seconds left in the game on a 4th and 4 from San Diego's four-yard-line. The catch made the score 38-37 Chargers; however, the Broncos subsequently went for a two-point conversion, in which Royal caught a pass from Cutler, thus, giving the Broncos a one-point victory. In Week 10, a game in which the Broncos defeated the Cleveland Browns on the road in comeback fashion, 34-30, Royal caught six passes for 164 yards, including a 93-yard touchdown pass. The performance earned him the honor of Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for the second time in his career.

On November 30, 2008, in a 34-17 Broncos road victory over the New York Jets, Royal set a franchise record for most touchdowns (5) and receiving yards (757) for a rookie in one season after catching five passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Eddie's 91 receptions are second most in NFL history for a rookie, behind only Anquan Boldin who had 101. His 980 yards and five touchdowns are both Broncos rookie records. He was seventh in the league among wide receivers in receptions, and sixth in the NFL in total yards.

Early in the 2009 season, Royal became the 4th fastest player in NFL history to reach 100 career receptions.

On October 19, 2009, Royal became the first player in Broncos history, and only the 11th player to date in National Football League history, to return a kickoff (93 yards) and a punt (71 yards) for touchdowns in the same game, leading undefeated Denver to a 34-23 win over the San Diego Chargers.

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