Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The backfield situation in Denver has become a game of running back roulette.
When training camp opened, most pundits thought it was only a matter of time before rookie Montee Ball ascended to the top of the depth chart. However, Ball's struggles in pass protection and Ronnie Hillman's hard running put that ascension on hold.
Until Hillman lost fumbles that were returned for touchdowns in successive games, that is.
Now, as Mike Klis of The Denver Post reports, Ball was running with the first-team offense in practice on Monday while Hillman carried a football with him everywhere he went.
The script flipped on Tuesday, with Klis reporting that Hillman once again practiced with the first team.
Never mind the presence of Knowshon Moreno. The former first-round pick may not have Ball's power or Hillman's quickness, but he also doesn't have Ball's problems with pass-blocking or Hillman's fumbling issues.
In fact, Klis' colleague Mark Kiszla believes that it's Moreno that should start for the Broncos in Week 1.
It may seem strange for a presumed starter to play in the preseason finale, but Hillman and/or Ball could easily see a fair amount of action Thursday against the Arizona Cardinals.
Or both could sit while Moreno carries the load. A big game (or terrible one) from one of the Denver backs might still alter the pecking order, but the simple fact is this isn't a fight in which there's going to be a clear "winner."
Hillman will start Week 1, but all three backs will see significant action this year.