Could Montee Ball’s Injury Be A Blessing In Disguise For Denver Broncos Run Game?


Oct 5, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman (23) runs the ball during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos drafted Montee Ball in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, hoping the Wisconsin Badger star could be their running back of the future. The 5-foot-10, 215 pound running back injured his groin in Denver’s 41-20 victory Sunday afternoon, which the Broncos’ fear he can miss quite some time. Now, I’m not saying Ball couldn’t still be the running back of the feature for Denver, but maybe this could be a blessing in disguise for the Broncos run game moving forward.

Ball, 23, showed late in the 2013 campaign that he could take over the every down role for the team, collecting 559 yards on 120 carries — 4.7 yards per carry. It’s not entirely his fault for his production so far this season, mainly due to the offensive line’s inconsistency run blocking. But Ball has carried the ball 49 times, collecting just 165 yards with one touchdown. He has fumbled once, but his yards per carry is a bit concerning. sitting at just 3.4.

Moving back to Sunday’s victory over Arizona, Ronnie Hillman and Juwan Thompson played very well in Ball’s absence. Also, it seemed as if Hillman gained more and more confidence as the game progressed as former third round pick [Hillman] ran with aggression. Ronnie carried the rock 15 times for Denver Sunday afternoon, collecting 54 yards with a long of 16-yards. His backup at the time, Juwan Thompson, didn’t do so bad either.

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Thompson, 22, made his National Football League debut Sunday, carrying the ball 3 times for 15 yards. Not only did he record his first NFL carry, but the former Duke star acquired his first rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Who knows what Denver will do prior to next Sunday’s game vs. New York Jets, regarding the run game. C.J. Anderson was deactivated from Sunday’s game prior to kickoff — maybe he could be involved in their plan moving forward. But from what I saw with my own two eyes in Denver’s win over Arizona, Ronnie Hillman and Juwan Thompson could provide a solid 1-2 punch for Denver until Montee Ball returns.

Montee Ball will have an MRI and find out Monday the extent of the injury to his groin.