Ronnie Hillman remains the leader of the Broncos' running backs meeting room.
With Montee Ball close to returning from his groin injury — if not necessarily this Sunday at Oakland — Hillman will have to execute his pass protection better if he wants to hold off Ball, who impressed coach John Fox during his first set of practices this week since straining his groin Oct. 5 against the Arizona Cardinals.
"He reshaped his body a bit," Fox said. "He did have an earlier issue with an appendectomy. He's had some time here to get back to the weight and condition where he wanted to be, and that's been a positive."
Until Ball returns, Hillman is the starting running back. He ran the ball well in his first three starts, then last Sunday at New England was held to just 16 yards on 10 carries.
The story went on to say that at this point it would be a surprise if Ball played against the Raiders as he is listed as questionable on the injury report. Also, Broncos players coming off extended injuries historically practice for a week before getting lathered up to play in the following week's game. It would appear Ball is on pace to play next week at St. Louis, although the artificial surface at the Edward Jones Dome is not ideal for a player returning from a groin strain.