Broncos Update Insider - 11/17/09

Perhaps it is Knowshon Moreno's time to show what he can do with a majority of the carries for the Broncos.

Moreno, the 12th overall pick in this year's draft, had 18 of the team's 20 rushing attempts by a running back against Washington, by far the most he has received this season with Correll Buckhalter healthy.

Moreno started well, with a 28-yard carry on the first play of the game, and looked good the rest of the game. He gained 97 yards for a solid 5.4-yard average. Moreno was coming off two mediocre games, including 3 yards on five carries against Pittsburgh, but looked much sharper against the Redskins.

"Just a decision, he was running it good so we just left him in the game," coach Josh McDaniels said.

Buckhalter's costly mistake in the first quarter might have forced McDaniels into the choice, even if he didn't admit that was part of his thought process. Buckhalter lost a fumble with the Broncos inside Redskins territory. Afterward, Buckhalter took his share of the blame, saying he was trying to do too much on the play.

"I feel like I let my teammates down today," Buckhalter said. "I take it upon myself. I'm a better player than that."

NOTES, QUOTES

--Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said quarterback Kyle Orton has a chance to play this week against San Diego, and he will be monitored through the week. Orton left Sunday's game with an injured left ankle and didn't play in the second half.

"Not sure exactly how it's going to go," McDaniels said. "We're going to see how he progresses over the course of the next few days."

--McDaniels didn't blame quarterback Chris Simms for the Broncos' loss to Washington, saying that many things went wrong in the game other than Simms' performance. Simms completed three of 13 passes for 13 yards in the second half.

"Chris accepts the role that he's in, and he has to go in there and perform, and we expect him to do that if he has to play next week," McDaniels said.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL PLAYER NOTES

--RB Peyton Hillis was inactive against the Redskins mainly because of special teams reasons, coach Josh McDaniels said. Hillis could be active this week.

--FB Spencer Larsen has gained the trust of the coaching staff as a lead blocker. He is physical at the point of attack, and Josh McDaniels said he had no problem starting Larsen at fullback against Washington.

--G Russ Hochstein held his own in his first start since supplanting Ben Hamilton at left guard. The Broncos ran the ball well after the lineup change. Hochstein likely will start again this week.

--OT Ryan Harris won't return this week from a toe injury, coach Josh McDaniels said. If Harris does miss the game, it would be the third in a row for the standout right tackle.

--DE Ryan McBean could return to the lineup this week. He has missed two games with a knee injury. He is a starter, and his return won't hurt a run defense that has been struggling.



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