It seemed like many were surprised Sunday night when rookie running back Ronnie Hillman was declared inactive. I wasn't surprised, but more disappointed that we would have to wait to see our explosive rookie running back in action. Well in an article done by Mike Klis, he gives us some insight into why Hillman was inactive and possibly when he could be active on game days.
As we all know Hillman suffered a hamstring injury during training camp, and it sidelined him for a few weeks. Those two weeks are proving to be costly for the young rookie. He missed valuable reps during camp and, two preseason games where he could have passed his competition. Hillman did play in the final two preseason games and finished the preseason with a team high 24 carries for 97 yards, but is still playing catchup. Coach Fox gives some insight into his decision...
"It was a combination of both (physical and mental) when you're a rookie," Fox said. "Right now, physically he's better, but he missed a lot of time. It's the same thing with (safety) Jimmy Leonhard. It's the same thing with (linebacker) Keith Brooking. But at least they're veteran guys who have played in the NFL and are mentally up to speed."
From those comments it seems like Hillman isn't quite 100% just yet, and he might not have the offense completely down right now. Also, Hillman isn't the best pass blocker yet. We saw what can happen Sunday night when a running back whiffs on a pass block. So it could be a few weeks, or even until the mid-way point in the season until we see Hillman on the field. It's all on him though, the sooner he gets healthy and learns the positon, the sooner he will be out there.