Last time the Broncos and the Chargers met, Cory Boyd and Tatum Bell were watching NFL football from their couches. In this Sunday’s rematch against San Diego, the two are the only healthy tailbacks remaining on the Denver roster.
During his Monday press conference, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announcement that P.J. Pope and Selvin Young will be placed on injured reserve, joining an already long list of rushers lost for the season — Anthony Alridge, Andre Hall, Peyton Hillis, Michael Pittman and Ryan Torain.
“I have never been a part of this or heard of anything like this at all,” Bell said. “Having seven running backs on IR — it is shocking.”
Both Bell and Boyd agreed that despite how hard their position is being hit by injuries this season, both rushers are looking forward to seeing the field on what has come down to the Broncos biggest game of the season on Sunday.
“I’m not worried at all,” Boyd said of a potential running back injury jinx. “The buck stops here. We’ve just got to go out and keep playing to the best of our abilities. Everything happens for a reason, so I’m not worried about it at all.”
Both backs are looking to make the most of their opportunities on Sunday.
“It is my first primetime game since I have been back, so I am excited,” Bell said. “I don’t know the rotation yet. I just know when I get in I have to be productive.”
Two Broncos players were sure to keep their names out of the mix at running back.
“I gave up running back after the sixth grade — that was the extent of my running back days,” Brandon Stokley said.
Surely at 6-foot-3 and 257 pounds, Daniel Graham must have some desire to line up at the running back position.
“None at all,” he said with a laugh. “They need me at tight end, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
Even Head Coach Mike Shanahan, who has been coaching in the NFL ranks for nearly a quarter century, couldn’t have imagined seeing so many injuries at one position.
“I think anything is possible, but I would say you were completely nuts if you said (at the beginning of the season) we were going to go through seven or eight running backs,” he said.
- Jake Grilley, DenverBroncos.com