It’s no secret that Knowshon Moreno is injury prone. He’s been hampered with injuries here and there during training camps and during the regular season.
No injury, however, has kept Moreno out as long as his current one will. It was announced today that Moreno’s “mild knee sprain” is actually a torn ACL. His name will be added to the IR as he prepares to undergo surgery and months of rehabilitation.
Moreno was injured in the first quarter of the Broncos game against the Chiefs. Willis McGahee went down with a hamstring injury which forced Moreno to carry a lot of the load. Moreno, more accustomed to being the team’s third down back, was on pace for his best game of the season when he broke off for a 24-yard and 22-yard run, including a picture perfect leap over a Chiefs’ defender to pick up more yards along the sideline.
Moreno was a highly touted back in college and appealed to Josh McDaniels enough for the fired McCoach to draft him 12th overall in 2009. His production has been anything but first round worthy.
His best year came in his rookie year when he had 947 yards on the year and 7 touchdowns. He also added 2 receiving touchdowns.
This year he’s been a reserve back averaging 25.6 yards per game and amassing zero rushing touchdowns through seven games. He had one receiving touchdown.
It will be hard to make a case for keeping him around in the future knowing that he’s prone to injuries and his production has dropped since his rookie year.
In light of this news, the Broncos moved Jeremiah Johnson up from the practice squad to replace Moreno. The 5’9″, 214 lb. Johnson went undrafted out of Oregon and he’s in his second year. He had 1201 rushing yards during his senior year at Oregon.
Johnson was impressive enough in training camp and in preseason for the Broncos to keep on the practice squad. He was moved up in week 2 when the Broncos hosted the Bengals, but he did not have a carry. Johnson had a brief stint on the Panthers practice squad last year, and John Fox liked him enough to bring him to Denver. Ironically, he functioned as a tandem back with Jonathan Stewart from the Panthers while at Oregon.
With these roster moves, McGahee, Lance Ball, and Johnson will be the running backs by committee. The “next man up” is Johnson and he’s prepared for a larger role.
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