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The Broncos now view Willis McGahee as a "complementary back," according to insider Jeff Legwold. "The Broncos believe he's showing some wear and tear at this point in his career... [and] that they'll actually get more production from him if they can trim his carries some." McGahee averaged a solid 4.4 yards per carry last year, but he turns 32 in October and is coming off a torn MCL and fractured leg. Denver doesn't want to bank on a return to form in 2013. Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman are still on the roster, but the Broncos are also expected to add another piece to the mix. Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw is reportedly an option. Denver is also considering using an early-round pick on a RB in this month's draft. The Broncos backfield will be worth monitoring closely over the next few months.
Related Players: Knowshon Moreno, Ronnie Hillman
Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that Willis McGahee’s status with the Broncos is far from secure. McGahee’s broken leg cost him 8 games at the end of last year. Will it also cost him his job? The Broncos have to acknowledge that the 31-year-old has a ton of tread on his tires. Knowshon Moreno looked like a #1 back in Weeks 14-15 last year, but faded fast down the stretch. Klis speculates that the team will target a veteran RB with blocking prowess when free agency begins. If McGahee is no longer on the scene, Moreno and Ronnie Hillman will duke it out with the newcomer to determine their respective roles. There's plenty of fantasy production to be had here with Peyton Manning running the offense.
Broncos RB Willis McGahee practiced on Tuesday for the first time since fracturing his leg and tearing his MCL in mid-November. He sported a black non-contact jersey during the workout. McGahee isn't eligible to play until the AFC Championship, and there's no guarantee he'll even be ready then. RB Knowshon Moreno's impressive play will make it easier for Denver to play it safe with McGahee. We'll update his status again next week.
Related Players: Knowshon Moreno
The Broncos have placed RB Willis McGahee on IR with the designated for return tag. It means he'd be eligible to return for the AFC Championship. With a torn MCL and a fractured leg, he was likely to miss the remainder of the regular season anyways. McGahee had an impressive season, averaging 4.4 yards per carry with 26 catches in 10 games. He'll be almost 32 when the 2013 season kicks off, though, so he might be a guy to avoid in fantasy drafts next summer. Meanwhile, RBs Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball, and Knowshon Moreno will share backfield duties for Denver. Hillman is the most talented and the best fantasy bet.
Related Players: Knowshon Moreno, Lance Ball, Ronnie Hillman
ESPN is reporting that Broncos RB Willis McGahee has been diagnosed with a torn MCL. He's expected to be sidelined 6-8 weeks. That knocks him out for the remainder of the regular season and puts his status for the playoffs in question. McGahee can be dropped in fantasy leagues. Meanwhile, Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball will take over as Denver's top 2 RBs. It'll likely be a committee attack, but Hillman has the clear talent edge and is the preferred waiver wire add. For more on Hillman, check out our Week 11 Free Agent Focus.
Update: Fox Sports' Jay Glazer adds that McGahee also has a fracture in his leg. He's still expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
Related Players: Lance Ball, Ronnie Hillman
Broncos RB Willis McGahee appeared to injure his knee near the end of the 1st half of Sunday's game. He hasn't been back on the field in the 2nd. We'll pass along an update when we get one. Ronnie Hillman has replaced McGahee as Denver's lead back.
Related Players: Ronnie Hillman
Broncos RB Willis McGahee (ribs) is active for today's game against the Raiders. He practiced all week, and the injury is just a matter of pain tolerance. We're comfortable plugging him into fantasy lineups as a RB2.
Broncos RB Willis McGahee (ribs) made it through the week of practice without a setback. He's probable for Sunday's game against the Raiders. McGahee carries some risk playing through a potentially painful injury, but he also has a sweet matchup against the league's 24th-ranked RB defense. We'd get him in fantasy lineups as a RB2.
Broncos insider Lindsay Jones confirms that RB Willis McGahee is "on track" to play against the Raiders this weekend. McGahee practiced for the 2nd straight day on Thursday and will decide later this week if he'll wear extra padding on Sunday. He won't be the safest fantasy option this week, but McGahee has plenty of upside against a leaky Oakland run defense.
Broncos RB Willis McGahee (ribs) practiced on Wednesday. It's a good start to his week, although his availability for Sunday's game against the Raiders will likely come down to pain tolerance. We'll continue to update his status leading up to game time.
Broncos HC John Fox didn't reveal much about RB Willis McGahee's rib injury. He told us that it involved cartilage damage and labeled McGahee "day-to-day." These rib injuries usually come down to pain tolerance. We're not expecting McGahee to practice much this week. And he might end up as a game-time decision for Sunday's tilt with the Raiders. If McGahee can't go, RB Lance Ball would likely draw the start, with RBs Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno also seeing action.
Broncos RB Willis McGahee suffered a rib injury in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game against the Texans. It doesn't look like he'll return. Lance Ball is serving as the lead back.
Broncos VP John Elway says the team will monitor RB Willis McGahee's workload this season. He turns 31 years old in October. “The thing is, with running backs, when they start to get a little bit older, you have to manage their workload — not only in practice, but also in games," Elway said. “The last thing we want to do with Willis is wear him out. Obviously he does a good job on first and second down; he’s tremendous between the tackles; he still has great feet and is our big back at 240 pounds.” It sounds like McGahee won't see much action on passing downs. And between his age and the arrival of QB Peyton Manning, McGahee is unlikely to match last year's 249 carries. But he's still the team's clear-cut lead back. And he should score more than the 5 times he did last season now that QB Tim Tebow is out of the picture. We think McGahee has a shot at finishing among the top-20 fantasy RBs in 2012.
Broncos RB Willis McGahee showed up to training camp in peak physical condition. "He dedicated himself to the weight room and arrived in camp a muscular 245 pounds, about 10 pounds heavier than last year," ESPN's John Clayton reports. "His upper body is ripped. His body fat dropped to 9 percent." McGahee turns 31 in October but has been used relatively sparingly over the past 4 years. He averaged a stout 4.8 yards per carry last season, so there's still juice in his legs. McGahee is locked-in as Denver's lead back. And while he may not see another 249 carries in 2012, he could be more efficient and score more TDs with Peyton Manning at the controls of the offense. McGahee is a viable RB2 that can be had in the 5th or 6th round of your draft.
Broncos RB Willis McGahee has never been considered a talented passing-down back. And Pro Football Focus has the numbers to back it up. Over the past 3 seasons, only 4 RBs have averaged fewer yards per pass route run. That's a metric that measures per-play effectiveness by simply dividing a player's receiving yards by the number of plays he went out for a pass. McGahee has been one of the least efficient pass-catching backs in the NFL. He's also struggled in pass protection, finishing outside the top-25 in PFF's blocking rankings in each of the last 3 years. McGahee's short-comings both as a pass-catcher and blocker are a concern considering QB Peyton Manning's arrival in Denver. Manning's Colts offenses required an adept passing-down back, and he'll likely need the same with the Broncos. McGahee remains the favorite to lead Denver's backfield in touches, but he could lose a significant number of snaps to Ronnie Hillman and/or Knowshon Moreno, who are both better passing-down backs.
Broncos insider Jeff Legwold reports that the team is looking to add a "bigger tailback to share the workload" with Willis McGahee. Legwold lists Vick Ballard, Jonas Gray, Ronnie Hillman, Doug Martin, and Robert Turbin as potential targets for Denver in the draft. Martin is a 1st or 2nd-rounder, while the other guys could be had in the middle or late rounds. The Broncos could also go after free-agents like Mike Tolbert, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, or Brandon Jacobs. They'll be smart to limit the 30-year-old McGahee's workload this coming season.
According to the Denver Post, Broncos RB Willis McGahee is unhappy with his contract situation. McGahee hoped to renegotiate his deal after a season that saw him rush for 1,199 yards and 4.8 YPC, but the Broncos weren’t interested. It’s hard to blame the teams’ hard-line stance when you account for McGahee’s checkered injury history and his age. The 2003 first rounder turns 31 in October and has appeared in all 16 games just once over the past 6 seasons (2009). The Post points out that for now, McGahee isn’t considering holding out, but he has plenty of time to mull that decision.
Broncos RB Willis McGahee (hamstring) is active for today's game against the Bills. He practiced all week and should see a full workload. McGahee is a high-upside RB2 in a juicy matchup.
Broncos RB Willis McGahee (hamstring) put in a full week of practice and is listed as probable for Saturday's game against the Bills. The hammy isn't an issue. McGahee is a strong fantasy play against the league's 29th-ranked RB defense.
Broncos RB Willis McGahee (hamstring) practiced on Tuesday. It's final confirmation that the hammy issue isn't serious. Denver figures to pound the rock early and often against a holey Bills run defense this weekend.
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