2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos want to see even more of Moreno

    2012-11-26 16:52

(Eds: Updates with details)
By EDDIE PELLS
AP National Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - In his first start in 56 weeks, Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno kept the pile moving forward, didn't fumble and didn't get hurt. It was, in his coach's eyes, such a solid performance that Moreno will start again next week, too.

Playing his first game since Sept. 17, and making his first start since Oct. 30, 2011, Moreno rushed for 85 yards on 20 carries in a steady return for the Broncos.

He ran for 30 of those yards while the Broncos were draining all but 14 seconds of the final 6:24 off the clock in their 17-9 win over Kansas City. In other words, Moreno did precisely what the Denver running game is designed to do in 2012 - complement Peyton Manning and help the Broncos salt away games.

``I thought he had a very good performance,'' coach John Fox said. ``It's the way he's going about his business up to this point. Everybody had great confidence in him and he came through for us. We've pretty much had running back by committee as it is, and he'll start out there as the starter.''

But up to now, the Broncos, now 8-3 and one win away from clinching the AFC West, have used one back as the featured runner in that committee while everyone else has played supporting roles. Before getting injured in the second quarter last Sunday, Willis McGahee had 173 of the running backs' 257 carries (67 percent), with the rest divided between Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball and Moreno.

Moreno had only eight of those carries. Since he lost a fumble in Week 2 against the Falcons, he hasn't been seen in a uniform on a game day. In fact, the bulk of his time on the practice field has been spent working with the scout team - hardly the role the 12th pick in the 2009 draft expected to play this far into his career.

``I never felt discouraged,'' Moreno said. ``I knew what my abilities were. At the same time, I was just waiting for my opportunities to come, and that's what I think I did.''

Fox said the running back's extended period on the scout team wasn't so much caused by the fumble as the torn ACL he suffered last November in a game in Kansas City.

``It does take time until you're 100 percent,'' Fox said. ``You're cleared to play but you're not exact as you probably think you should be. He needed some time. But he had a great attitude, a great mindset through that period of time. And just by the nature of this league, injuries are part of the game, we knew we'd need him and he went about it right and that's why he looked so good.''

Moreno downplayed the knee as a factor in his long-term benching.

``Never a problem,'' he said. ``It's part of the business. It happens. You just go with the punches, wait for your chance to come and that's what I did.''

Of the backs left on the roster after McGahee, Moreno was largely considered the one with the biggest upside. He was, after all, a first-round draft pick, with speed, size (5-foot-11, 200) and, now, the experience to handle the all-important blocking assignments that take some running backs a long time to master.

Yet because he hadn't played for two months, there was speculation that Hillman, the rookie, or Ball, the dependable backup, might get the bulk of the carries against the Chiefs.

Turns out, the call went to Moreno, who proved more than ready.

Next, the team finds out how he recovers.

The 20 carries and four receptions marked the most times he's touched the ball since December 2010.

The morning after, Moreno woke up with some aches and pains.

``I'm sore,'' he said. ``But it's a good kind of sore.''

Notes: Fox didn't list a single injury in his Monday news conference. QB Peyton Manning was checked out after the back of his helmet got slammed to the turf during a tackle by the Chiefs' Tyson Jackson in the second quarter. Fox said Broncos medical staff cleared Manning at halftime to play the third quarter and there was nothing new to report Monday. ... Fox said newly signed RB Jacob Hester gives the Broncos a different ``protection-based'' dimension to the running back corps. Hester, who played with the division-rival Chargers for his first four years, said that because the Broncos don't use the fullback much, he expects to play special teams and ``we'll go from there.'' ... The last time the Broncos had an 8-3 record after 11 games was 1991, when they won the division and lost the AFC title game to Buffalo.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Frank GoreDec 17 03:13p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) visited with a doctor at the team's facility Tuesday, Dec. 16, as part of the NFL's concussion protocol. Gore did not participate [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 17 02:33p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is not participating in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

C.J. SpillerDec 17 02:13p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Blake BortlesDec 17 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, and is listed as questionable for Week 16.

Julio JonesDec 17 01:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday, Dec. 17.

DeMarco MurrayDec 17 01:33p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) wasn't expected to do a lot at practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, but he took first-team snaps at running back [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 17 01:23p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) returned to practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, and he worked with the second-team offense in the portion of practice open to the media. QB [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayDec 17 12:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is participating in individual drills during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

T Y HiltonDec 17 12:23p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating during the media-access portion of practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Rashad JenningsDec 17 11:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) will not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Keenan AllenDec 17 11:03a

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone, ankle) said he is taking his injuries 'week to week.'

Denard RobinsonDec 17 10:13a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson (foot) has a partially torn ligament in his foot, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Recovery time is six to eight weeks, but he [ More ]

Marc TrestmanDec 16 09:33p

The Chicago Bears are expected to fire head coach Marc Trestman, according to a source. The team's ownership met Tuesday, Dec. 16, after the team's Week 15 loss against [ More ]

Julio JonesDec 16 09:33p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is expected to be ready to play in Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints. However, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter indicated the possibility [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerDec 16 06:43p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger (shoulder) missed practice for the second straight day Tuesday, Dec. 16.

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will likely be a game-time decision against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16, according to owner Jerry Jones. Jones said the team is [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 16 05:33p

Denver Broncos TE Virgil Green continued to lead the team's tight ends in snaps with 50 in Week 15 against the San Diego Chargers, even with TE Julius Thomas [ More ]

Aaron RodgersDec 16 05:23p

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is 0-2 with a 35.6 total quarterback rating at Tampa Bay in his career. He threw three interceptions in each of those games.

Blake BortlesDec 16 04:23p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) was jogging, throwing and moving around well while being limited at practice Thursday, Dec. 16. He showed no signs of being limited by [ More ]

Colt McCoyDec 16 04:23p

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (neck) was told by doctors that he only needs two to three weeks for the aggravated nerve in his neck [ More ]

Keenan AllenDec 16 04:13p

Updating a previous report, San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone) could be placed on Reserve/Injured if the team is eliminated from playoff contention. Allen will not play this [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 16 02:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Colt McCoyDec 16 02:33p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (neck) was placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Dec. 16, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Keenan AllenDec 16 02:33p

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone) suffered a broken collarbone in Week 15 and is not expected to play this week. Surgery is not planned at this point [ More ]

Blake BortlesDec 16 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) said his foot felt fine during a team walkthrough Tuesday, Dec. 16, and he is confident he will be ready to play this week.

Blake BortlesDec 16 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) is expected to play in Week 16 against the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec. 18, according to offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. Even though Bortles [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 01:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) has a good chance to play in Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts despite having surgery on a broken left hand, according to [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 09:23a

Updating an earlier report, Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) isn't risking further injury by playing in Week 16. The team believes he can play.

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 08:53a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) could play in Week 16, in the opinion of beat writer Bryan Broaddus. At least, that is the team's early thinking.

Jay GrudenDec 16 05:53a

Although the Washington Redskins haven't confirmed the news, sources have said coach Jay Gruden will be retained as coach for the 2015 season.

Andre JohnsonDec 16 05:23a

The Houston Texans are expected to ask WR Andre Johnson to take a pay cut for future seasons, with an outright release a possibility if he refuses. Johnson will [ More ]

Corey WhiteDec 15 07:13p

The New Orleans Saints have declared CB Corey White, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, OT Nick Becton, DL Ronald Powell, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 15.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group