While reports are not yet official, early prognosis for running back Mike Anderson's groin injury is certainly not encouraging.
According to team officials Anderson could be sidelined close to two months with a severely strained groin, suffered while the fifth-year veteran was heading downfield in punt protection during the final two minutes of Friday's 31-17 win over the Houston Texans.
"The disappointing thing is that he wasn't supposed to be in there," Shanahan said afterward. "We had a couple guys go down; one guy goes down and he goes in there and it's a little bit of a freak accident, especially at that position, one of the safer positions on that punt team."
Anderson, who was in a strong battle with Quentin Griffin for the top running back position, is scheduled to meet with specialists on Monday, but it is doubtful that results will change.
This leaves twelve-year veteran Garrison Hearst as Denver's number two back, followed by rookie Tatum Bell who is still recovering from a broken finger suffered during his first day of NFL training camp.
"If anyone can make it back, Anderson can," offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak reported on the team's official website following Sunday afternoon's practice session. "He's a tough kid. Hopefully he'll be back."
Anderson's injury marks the first major setback for the Broncos offense, fortunately, both Hearst and Bell should be able to pick up any lack of production the team may encounter during Anderson's rehabilitation.
"Any time you lose somebody, it's hard," Kubiak said. "But we're built for guys to step in. That's why Mike (Shanahan) went and got Garrison Hearst this offseason. That's why we drafted Tatum Bell. We're built for this situation. You don't like it, but we're built for it."
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