Heading into Training Camp, running back Montee Ball was second on the depth chart behind running back C.J. Anderson, and we were talking about whether or not Ronnie Hillman should be cut or traded. A lot has changed for both players in the month of August.
Montee Ball started the summer as the Broncos second running back behind starter C.J. Anderson. Ball was even calling himself the "1B" to Anderson back in June.
"As of right now I’m second; I’m behind C.J, but I’m sure it’s going to be a 1-A, 1-B style and we’re looking forward to it. … The only thing I can do is work and fight back to get the No. 1 spot. But let’s say I do fight back and get the No. 1 spot, they can’t keep C.J. on the bench based off what he did. They most definitely have to use both of us.’’
Ball kept the "IB" status through the first couple weeks of Training Camp, and even through the team's first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Then began the rise of Ronnie Hillman. He started flashing during Training Camp practices and began earning praise from coaches. This lead to Hillman rising up the depth chart ahead of Montee Ball in the Broncos second preseason game against the Houston Texans.
Coach Kubiak said after the game that Hillman earned these extra carries. It was apparent that Hillman passed Ball on the depth chart.
Things got even worse for Ball during the Broncos third preseason game this past weekend. He fell from third on the depth chart to apparently fourth on the depth chart. Running back Juwan Thompson received reps ahead of Ball, and he didn't enter the game until late into the second half.
Now that he's fallen so far down the depth chart, it's time to ask whether or not he should be traded or even make the team?
Ball was a former second round pick and is only 24 year's old, so he should have some value on the trade market. He also showed some promise during his rookie season when he averaged 4.7 yards per carry for the Broncos. These reasons should give Ball some value in a trade
The Broncos probably wouldn't get a ton in return for Ball. I could see a late round pick that could become a higher pick depending how well he plays, or for a backup player in a position of need for the Broncos.
This reason could lead to the Broncos deciding to keep Ball on their 53 man roster. You can never have enough healthy backs on your roster, so they could decide to roll with Ball as their fourth back on the depth chart. This would mean that he would be inactive on gameday's.
So let me ask you Mile High Report, would you trade Montee Ball, would you simply cut him, or would you rather the Broncos keep him?