Montee Ball Expected to See More Action With Ronnie Hillman Out

Montee Ball Expected to See More Action With Ronnie Hillman Out

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  • Ronnie Hillman is day-to-day with a sprained foot.
  • Montee Ball is expected to have more carries in his absence.
  • The Denver Broncos also passed up on Richie Incognito this week.

Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball, who suffered a strained groin in Week 4, is expected to have more carries after Ronnie Hillman sprained his foot in a 41-17 win over the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 9.

Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball is expected to see more action with Ronnie Hillman out.

Andrew Mason of the Broncos’ official website wrote an update on the team’s latest running back situation on Nov. 10:

“The steady stream of injuries and ailments at running back that dates back to training camp claimed Ronnie Hillman as its latest victim.

“Broncos head coach John Fox said Hillman, the Broncos’ leader in rushing yardage (378) and rushing touchdowns (three), is ‘day-to-day’ with the sprained foot he suffered in Sunday’s 41-17 win over (the) Oakland (Raiders).

“But the depth at the position, the recovery of Montee Ball from a groin strain and the breakout performance of C.J. Anderson on Sunday leaves the Broncos with plenty of options — both for the short and long term.

“If they want Hillman to take his time with his recovery, he can, especially after Anderson racked up 163 yards from scrimmage on 13 rushes and four receptions. His tally was the best for a Broncos running back since Nov. 24 of last year, when Knowshon Moreno amassed 230 yards at New England.

“‘It speaks to the depth we have. We’ve been pretty fortunate,’ Fox said. ‘It’s a tribute to them being on top of their craft.’ 

“Who ends up playing at St. Louis next Sunday and beyond will depend on one factor above others — even above performance.

“‘I think it’s who’s healthy. No. 1, first and foremost, is evaluating that week to week,’ said Fox.

“Through Ball’s five-game recovery, which began when he fell in a ‘freak accident’ while trying to block against (the) Arizona (Cardinals) on Oct. 5, he remained atop the depth chart issued to media each Tuesday after starting Weeks 1-4. Ball practiced on a limited basis last week for his first on-field work since Oct. 5, but was inactive Sunday, and limited to pre-game running and route work.

“‘We just didn’t feel he was quite ready to be up (active) for the game,’ Fox said.

“If neither Ball nor Hillman is available next week, rookie Kapri Bibbs could get his first work as the third man in a rotation. The former practice-squad back was a game-day stretch in three games after being promoted to the 53-man roster.”

In another team development, the Broncos invited former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito for a workout on Monday but eventually decided to pass up on him, per The Denver Post’s Mike Klis:

“The Broncos are so concerned about their offensive line they’re willing to consider the NFL bad boy and alleged bully Richie Incognito. 

“The veteran guard was at the Broncos’ Dove Valley headquarters for a visit and workout Monday, according to multiple NFL sources confirming a report from FOX Sports.

“However, the Broncos are going to pass — for now.

“A Broncos source said the team had a productive visit with Incognito but won’t be signing him at this time. The door is not closed on Incognito. The team will continue to look at improving the offensive line.

“Incognito, 31, is a nine-year NFL veteran and 2012 Pro Bowler who played his college ball at Nebraska. In a 2009 Sporting News poll, Incognito was voted as the league’s ‘Dirtiest Player’ by NFL players.

“The pros and cons of signing Incognito are clear. On the positive, the Broncos believe they can use the type of physical, even nasty play up front that Incognito can bring. And if any team can handle a guy with character concerns, it’s a locker room led by quarterback Peyton Manning.

“The downside is this would be perceived as the ultimate sell-your-soul-to-the-devil move. The Broncos thought Tim Tebow was a distraction? For a contradictory reason, Incognito would be a media lightning rod. 

“He was suspended by the Miami Dolphins midway through last season after he was accused of bullying fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin.” 

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