Former Broncos running back Floyd Little has entered hospice care, his close friend and former Syracuse teammate, Pat Killorin, announced on Facebook Saturday night.
78-year-old Little, a member of the Broncos’ Ring of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame, whose No. 44 jersey has been retired by Syracuse and the Broncos, has been undergoing cancer treatments since this spring. Little lives in Las Vegas.
Killorin hosted a GoFundMe page for Little earlier this year to help with medical expenses, and more than $ 100,000 was donated in total.
“Floyd’s courageous battle with a difficult illness (cancer) is now at a critical stage in his life,” wrote Killorin. “This is a time when a husband and wife must make important decisions regarding possible end-of-life decisions.”
Playing on struggling teams and with mix-and-match quarterbacks, Little has long been the shining light of the Broncos. He was the NFL rushing champion in 1971 (1,133 yards) and currently ranks second in team history in rushes (1,641), yards (6,323) and touchdowns (43), behind fellow Hall of Famer Terrell Davis in all three categories.
Little never appeared in a playoff game and was part of only two winning teams (7-5-2 in ’73 and 7-6-1 in ’74), but his contributions to making professional football a hit in this region have been forgotten.
Little rushed the Broncos seven times. He was part of the team’s inaugural Ring of Fame in 1984. The number of season tickets increased from 24,650 to 49,000 during his career. His number 44 is one of only three retired Broncos numbers, joining quarterbacks Frank Tripucka (18) and John Elway (7).