Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 6:20pm
For much of the last two seasons, the Denver Broncos have lived the hot-hand life in the run game.
Running backs coach Eric Studesville, with a collection of backs he ranks every week for playing time but close enough in abilities to split the carries in some fashion, would roll them all through the huddle.
As he puts it: “It’s a gut feel, you look at the guys, look at where were are on offense, see how they’re running and you go from there."
Besides, when a team throws the ball as often as the Broncos have since Manning’s arrival in 2012, there aren’t always that many carries to go around.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I just look at it like I need to get myself ready to handle whatever they ask me to do," Anderson said. “[Studesville] tells me to go in and I go in. He tells me to run it, I run it. If you need to block, you block, if you need to catch the ball, you catch the ball. And if you need to wait a bit to do it, you wait and stay ready."
The story goes on to point out that with injuries to Montee Ball (right groin) and Ronnie Hillman (left foot), the sturdy Anderson might get a workload that resembles a primary-back approach like he did in Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins. Anderson had 27 carries for 167 yards -- both season-highs for a Broncos running back and easily career-bests for Anderson. The Broncos are at Kansas City in Week 13.
Saturday, November 22, 2014, 8:07pm
Stewart is a third-year pro from Cal who appeared in 17 games during his first two NFL seasons in Oakland. The Broncos signed him to their practice squad Oct. 8. Stewart has one career TD run on 27 carries for 103 yards and 10 catches for 68 yards. He also plays special teams and owns a 17.3-yard average on eight kickoff returns. He'll likely be behind starter C.J. Anderson and Juwan Thompson. It's possibly Hillman returns for Week 13.
Friday, November 21, 2014, 6:26pm
Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (foot, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 12. Hillman won’t play for a while. With Montee Ball also out, C.J. Anderson will likely carry the load in the short term.
Thursday, November 20, 2014, 5:58pm
Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 6:11pm
But one of the other red-flag numerals was the team's rushing attempts against the Rams, as in just 10 for the entire game, one of those a kneel-down from quarterback Peyton Manning just before halftime. The Broncos finished with just 28 yards rushing and as a result held on to the ball for just 24 minutes, 10 seconds in the game.
It was the third game this season when the Broncos have finished with fewer than 50 yards rushing and the Broncos are 0-3 in those games, with road losses at Seattle, New England and Sunday's in St. Louis.
"There's no doubt to be the kind of team we want to be, we have to run the ball more," said Broncos head coach John Fox. "There's a mindset, mentality, whether you're on defense trying to stop the run and whether you're on offense running the football … Right now it's something we have to do more, we have to execute better."
Based on last week against the Rams, maybe even Peyton Manning and the Broncos can't get away with dropping back to pass as much as they have as defense can eventually adjust. The story went on to say the 10 carries tied for the Broncos' lowest total since the start of the 1981 season -- two years before the team traded for uber quarterback prospect John Elway. The Broncos had 11 rushing attempts against the San Diego Chargers last season -- the previous low since quarterback Peyton Manning signed with the team -- and the Broncos had 10 carries against the Chargers in the 2008 season finale, Mike Shanahan's last game as the team's head coach. The story went on to say the Broncos are also one of seven teams in the league with fewer than 245 rushing attempts for the season and Denver is the only one of those seven teams with a winning record -- the other six teams have a combined 13-47 record, a list that includes the 0-10 Oakland Raiders as well as the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both 2-8. This week may not get much easier with the Dolphins in town. C.J. Anderson looks like he's going to have to carry the load with both Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman out.
Ball will miss the next two or three weeks, according to two NFL sources. Another running back ,Ronnie Hillman, is expected to miss another game with his left midfoot injury Sunday when the Broncos play the Miami Dolphins.
That means C.J. Anderson is likely to get another big workload. It's again not a great matchup against the Dolphins but Anderson was again a big factor in the passing game during last week's loss. Kapri Bibbs and Juwan Thompson are next up on the depth chart. Thompson had one reception for five yards in Week 11.
He aggravated his groin injury that forced him to miss the previous five games. He will undergo an MRI exam Monday.
For those who plucked C.J. Anderson off the wire for a short term option, you may have found yourself a longer-term option. Ronnie Hillman could very well be out next week giving Anderson another potential heavy workload in Week 12 at home against Miami. But even when Hillman returns, it looks like Anderson could still have a significant role, perhaps especially in the passing game. Juwan Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are next up on the depth chart should Ball miss significant time.
Friday, November 14, 2014, 6:06pm
Broncos RB Montee Ball (groin, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 11. C.J. Anderson looked great in Week 10, so the Broncos may elect to ease Ball back into action. Ronnie Hillman will be out for a while (2-4 weeks) with a sprained foot.
Friday, November 14, 2014, 6:06pm
Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (foot, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 11. C.J. Anderson likely leads the Denver backfield in Week 11 after a strong showing against the Raiders. Montee Ball should make his return, but the team will likely choose to ease him into action since Anderson has played well.
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:29pm
Broncos RB Montee Ball (groin) took full practice reps again Thursday. The full participation means that Ball is very likely to make his return this week. C.J. Anderson looked great in Week 10, so the Broncos may elect to ease him back into action. Ronnie Hillman will be out for a while (2-4 weeks) with a sprained foot.
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:29pm
Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) missed practice again Thursday. Hillman was called “day-to-day” by HC John Fox, though there are multiple reports that he’s going to miss 2-3 weeks, at least. C.J. Anderson likely leads the Denver backfield in Week 11 after a strong showing against the Raiders. Montee Ball should make his return, but the team will likely choose to ease him into action since Anderson has played well.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 5:52pm
Broncos RB Montee Ball (groin) practiced fully Wednesday. The full participation means that Ball is very likely to make his return this week. C.J. Anderson looked great in Week 10, so the Broncos may elect to ease him back into action. Ronnie Hillman will be out for a while (2-4 weeks) with a sprained foot.
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