Denver Broncos starting running back Montee Ball went down with an injury in the early portions of the third quarter of today's game against the Arizona Cardinals. It looked like Ball was favoring his groin area, and needed help from the training staff to get off the field. The Broncos officially listed his injury as a groin injury, and listed him as questionable to return.
Now according to CBS 4's Vic Lombardi Ball was seen using crutches to get around the locker room.
Montee Ball had crutches.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) October 5, 2014
This would be a tough break for Montee Ball who is having a rough start to his 2014 season. The Broncos haven't updated Ball's status outside of the initial report, but it appears Ball could be out for at least a short period of time. When more on Ball's injury becomes known we will update this post.
The Broncos backup running backs stepped up in Ball's absence. Ronnie Hillman took the majority of the carries in his absence and did rather well. He carried the ball 15 times for 64 yards (4.3 YPC) with a long run of 16 yards, and undrafted rookie Juwan Thompson carried the ball 3 times for 15 yards (5.0 YPC) and scored a touchdown.
It will be interesting to see how things play out with the Broncos backfield going forward. Ball has struggled and is now injured, C.J Anderson was a surprise inactive today, and Hillman and Thompson showed flashes today. Another name to watch for is undrafted rookie running back Kapri Bibbs who is currently on the Broncos practice squad. If Ball is going to miss some time with this groin injury I would expect the Broncos to call up the rookie for depth at running back and special teams.
The Broncos face a Jets defense next week that just gave up 114 yards to Chargers rookie running back Branden Oliver. So hopefully the Broncos can cure their running game woes against the New York Jets next weekend.
Lets hope that Ball's injury is nothing serious and that he'll be able to go sooner rather then later.
Update 7:26 pm:
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, running back Montee Ball will undergo a magnetic imaging exam on his strained groin Monday morning.
According to Klis, an NFL source has said that the initial belief is that Ball will be "out awhile".
If this is the case, I would expect a running back by committee approach by the Broncos. We will see a mix of Ronnie Hillman, Juwan Thompson and C.J Anderson. I would look for Hillman to get the start initially, but rolling with the hot hand during the game.