Running back Peyton Hillis has been taking advantage of his second-team reps with rookie Montario Hardesty sidelined with a twisted knee. During Sunday's practice, Hillis displayed excellent hands, catching several passes out of the backfield and turning them upfield for long runs. In a two-minute drill, he parlayed a short catch into a 26-yard blast that set up a field goal.
At 241 pounds -- he's still putting back on some weight from a flu that kept him out of some OTAs and minicamp -- he provides a big, bruising back and a jumbo backfield when paired with fullback Lawrence Vickers.
"With both of us in there, we can move the pile a little bit and get that tough yardage," he said.