With the NFL Divisional Round Playoffs coming up this weekend, the Denver Broncos will have a choice to make if they advance to the AFC Championship game. What will they do if RB Willis McGahee is able to return in time to be activated to their roster? With Knowshon Moreno running the ball well in his absence, and Lance Ball, Jacob Hester, Chris Gronkowski and rookie Ronnie Hillman all on the roster, would it be feasible for Denver to carry six running backs?
Well, common sense would say that no team needs six runners vying for carries. But with McGahee likely to get limited carries himself if he does make the roster for the next round, there may be a reason for Head Coach John Fox to gamble with the loaded position. McGahee will be cleared to practice hopefully by next week if the Broncos win on Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens after tearing his MCL and suffering a fracture in his right knee on November 18th. He is allowed by NFL rules to be the 54th man on the roster for evaluation purposes being he was put on the injured reserve/designated to return list.
The most obvious release would be that of CB Tracy Porter, who got a concussion in week 16 against the Cleveland Browns and has not played or practiced since. With the way Chris Harris and company have played in Porter’s absence, it is a foregone conclusion that he is expendable. What Ball and Gronkowski have going for them is the fact that they play special teams, which has been a solid unit throughout the year. And even with Hillman’s trouble holding onto the ball late in the year, it seems as if Fox wants to keep him around for the ride.
So Porter would be the most likely odd man out, and realistically, I’d rather see McGahee on the sideline, then an oft-injured Porter who will most likely not help the Broncos win a championship. Of course, all this is preliminary talk, as the Broncos still need to dismiss of the Ravens this weekend. But, somehow I see us revisiting this scenario come Monday.
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