For whatever reason, Montee Ball has been unable to find a groove through the first 4 games of the season. And it's looking like he won't get a chance to turn the ship around for at least a few weeks.
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Ball is likely to "be out for a while" with a groin injury. However, it's important to note that he has yet to undergo a MRI, so the full extent of the damage, and the exact prognosis for return, won't be known until then.
In yesterday's 41-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals, Ball, and the Denver Broncos, struggled to run the ball early on. On the day, Ball notched just 7 yards on 6 carries. Interestingly enough, when Ball left the game, the team turned to the much maligned Ronnie Hillman, who proceeded to do what Ball could not; hit the hole with burst and get to the second level of the defense.
On the day, Hillman carried the ball 15 times for 65 yards, all of it coming in the second half. Broncos Country has been looking for that type of production from the team's 2012 3rd round pick since he was drafted. With how ineffectual the Broncos run game has been thus far, the team will likely turn to Hillman to see if Sunday's production was fool's gold, or if he can be the answer moving forward.
Undrafted rookie free agent, Juwan Thompson, also got in on the 2nd half rushing action, carrying the ball 3 times for 15 yards and the first touchdown of his young NFL career. Thompson runs with a rare combination of burst and power and could prove to be more than just a role player for the Broncos, especially as they march into some tough matchups later in the season.
C.J. Anderson was inactive for yesterday's game. He and Ball were given the first opportunity to succeed early on, but it's looking like it'll be the Hillman and Thompson show moving forward, or at least in the near future, until Ball comes back. The Broncos offensive line rebounded in the 2nd half, following another lackluster effort run blocking in the 1st. Perhaps the bye did make a difference for them and provided the opportunity to identify what was going wrong and fix it.
According to the Denver Post, Montee Ball is expected to miss 2 weeks, following his MRI.