Prize rookie running back Knowshon Moreno galloped out the gates last night in the 2nd quarter of Denver's loss to San Francisco. He made three runs for 18 yards before being hobbled by what appears to be a leg injury. Moreno limped off the field and did not return in the second half. This is potentially bad news for both the Broncos and fantasy managers who have already drafted Moreno with high expectations. Most likely the injury is nothing serious, otherwise ESPN and the media hordes would be covering the injury in great detail. However, if Moreno is forced to miss any more time in training camp it will seriously hurt his chance to rise to the top of the RB depth chart.
Knowshon's injury comes less than a week after his signing, and the release of oft-injured RB Ryan Torian. If Moreno is lost for any substantial time, Correll Buckhalter and a slimmed down Lamont Jordan should see the majority of work. Peyton Hillis who was moved to fullback may also play a role.
Moreno's injury was not the end of Denver's woes last night either. New QB Kyle Orton was dismal in his debut, throwing three interceptions in his first three series, including one within the 49ers five-yard-line. In all he went 9/16 for 89 yards and 3 picks. Back up QB Chris Simms was a more solid 11/17 for 142 yards and two touchdown passes, and nearly led the team to a comeback win. Could we end up with yet another QB controversy this pre-season?
The Moreno injury bears watching over the next few days to see how it might impact his draft status and ranking.
UPDATE - Saturday Aug. 15: A league source reports Knowshon's MRI revealed an MCL sprain. How serious that sprain is has not been released. Moreno could miss a few days or a few weeks. Both fantasy managers and the Broncos alike can breathe easy it was not a torn ACL.