Denver Broncos running back Juwan Thompson could play a key role on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders if C.J. Anderson isn’t able to play due to an ankle injury…
With C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman nursing injuries heading into the Raiders game (as if other players on the team aren’t…), it might be time for Juwan Thompson’s number to be called.
The Broncos would ideally like to go into Sunday’s game with three backs, so don’t be shocked if Kapri Bibbs is called up to the active roster, but Thompson could see a lot of carries along with Ronnie Hillman if Anderson’s ankle isn’t ready to go. Head coach Gary Kubiak discussed the possibilities on Friday…
“Ronnie is good. Ronnie practiced today. C.J. did not. He’s still sore, still very sore. I think that we still have a chance of getting him to game day and being available for us, but [RB] Juwan [Thompson] has had a good week. Ronnie looks fine. We’ll see. We’ll go from there, but I think C.J. still has a shot.”
The optimism surrounding Anderson is good to hear, but he hasn’t practiced all week and you don’t necessarily want a run-oriented offense going into a game with just two running backs, one of which missed some practice time this week due to injury already.
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“Yeah, obviously you want that (having a third available running back). I’ve played with two before. On a given day, you kind of have some emergency ways that you could go about it. We just kind of have to look at the big picture right now. We have through tomorrow to make some of those decisions, look at the big picture and see what we think gives us the best chance this weekend.”
The assessment should come at some point on Saturday for the Broncos, who will then have a roster decision to make in regards to the running back position. It’s almost impossible to know which position would have a player sacrificed with all the injuries the Broncos have suffered in recent weeks.
Thompson is a capable replacement, a player that scored three touchdowns last year, averaging five yards per carry in limited work. He’s the type of North-South runner that excites fans because he grinds out tough yards, fights for extra ones, and moves the chains. He’s also a good receiver out of the backfield and a nice special teams player.
There are a number of reasons he made an NFL roster as a UDFA out of Duke, but the primary reason being he knows how to run the football. If he is to take over C.J. Anderson’s role this weekend as the power back, he is more than capable, and could really excel.