The Denver Broncos placed running back, Willis McGahee on the injured reserve list with a designation to return after eight weeks. That means McGahee cannot practice with the team for six weeks, and cannot play in a game for eight weeks. If everything went well in his recovery, then McGahee would be eligible to play in the AFC Championship Game if the Broncos made it that far. McGahee is a loss for the Broncos but it’s not the end of the world.
McGahee was and is an important part of the Broncos success, no one is saying he’s not, but the last time I looked, Peyton Manning was still the quarterback. As long as Manning is healthy, then the Broncos are contenders. It’s too simplistic to say that anyone can play running back behind Manning, but the Broncos have more than enough talent to get by.
The one area of concern is pass protection and I share that concern, but does anyone really believe that the coaches are going to leave Manning unprotected? There are different things they can do and will do; the loss of McGahee hurts in terms of pass protection but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome.
For all of his faults, Knowshon Moreno is a solid pass blocker and will help in that department. Lance Ball is also very good at picking up the blitz, so he will be used in that capacity as well. The Broncos may also motion a tight end into the backfield in order to help protect Manning on obvious passing downs.
One other thing that will help is getting guard Chris Kuper back. Manny Ramirez has done a good job but there’s a noticeable difference in terms of pass protection when Kuper is not in the lineup. The bottom line is this: the Broncos will find a way to protect Manning. Losing McGahee doesn’t derail the Broncos, losing Manning would be a train wreck and the Broncos will do anything to prevent that.
The Denver Broncos will miss McGahee but trust me, as long as No. 18 is pulling the trigger, the Broncos will be just fine.
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