The Denver Broncos running backs need to get a good audition this coming Sunday when the team takes on the San Francisco 49ers in week three of preseason play.
The team already knows Willis McGahee will be the No. 1 back, but sorting out the complimentary backs is another ballgame. Of the Broncos’ 50 plays last week against the Seattle Seahawks, the team rushed just 15 times. McGahee had 8 of those carries, and guys like Knowshon Moreno, Xavier Omon, and Jeremiah Johnson had just one carry a piece. Lance Ball had 2 carries.
The team has to see who can carry the other part of the running game this season.
Moreno is listed at No. 4 on the depth chart alongside Omon and Johnson after suffering a torn ACL nine months ago. He’s trying to work his way back on to this team.
“Knowshon has done a nice job,” offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. “He’s worked extremely hard. It’s tough coming off an injury like that, but the great thing is I think he’s got a great example ahead of him with Wilils.”
McGahee tore his ACL, MCL, and PCL in the fourth quarter of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. Prior to the injury, McGahee was an easy top-5 pick, but instead went No. 23 in the first round. If McGahee could bounce back from that to have a 1,199 yard season at the age of 30, Moreno can certainly bounce back as well.
Moreno has struggled early in his career. He was the 12th overall pick in the 2009 draft, and he has 18 career touchdowns and 7 career fumbles. He’s been benched and booed numerous times during his career, but he has shown flashes of brilliance, which is why it’s so hard not to give him another shot.
A guy like Omon who is just clawing his way just to make an NFL roster could easily knock Moreno off his comeback train, however.
The Broncos have options at No. 2 and No. 3.
“We’ve got a lot of talent there,” McCoy said. “It’s a good problem to have.”
Keep an eye on the Broncos backup backs this week against San Francisco. Guys are playing not only for yards and touchdowns, but for jobs.