Head Coach John Fox on Monday announced that running back Willis McGahee suffered a ligament tear in his knee, but the injury will not require surgery.
“Obviously, (we’re) disappointed to lose a player of Willis’ caliber,” Fox said. “We’re disappointed for him.”
Though McGahee will not need surgery, Fox said he doesn’t have a timetable for a return other than that the running back will be “week-to-week.”
“Right now we’re not making a roster change as far as IR,” Fox said when asked whether McGahee could head to injured reserve with a designation to return. “He’s a fast healer. He’s a tough, competitive guy. A lot of times your veteran guys are that way. We wouldn’t at this point want to prolong it that far.”
Through 11 weeks of the season, McGahee gained 731 yards on 167 carries, finding the end zone four times. In his absence on Sunday against San Diego, running back Ronnie Hillman picked up 43 yards on 12 carries and Lance Ball chipped in another 35 yards on just six carries.
Fox said the team has confidence in the running back stable currently on the team, from Hillman and Ball to Knowshon Moreno, who has been inactive since Week 3, and Jeremiah Johnson, who is currently on the practice squad but rushed for 77 yards and had 62 receiving yards with the team in 2011.
Fox said the team “may or may not” bring in free agent running backs to work out this week, and that those discussions won’t occur until later on Monday.
“Right now, we feel really good about the guys we have — they’re trained in our system,” Fox said. “I’ve said many, many times, it’s the next man up. It was yesterday and will be next Sunday. Who that’ll be? We’ll see how practice goes and what our active list will look like next Sunday.”