Broncos rule Moreno out for Week 3

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 19: Running back Knowshon Moreno  of the Denver Broncos rushes with the ball and is stopped by linebacker Lofa Tatupu  and defensive end Chris Clemons  of the Seattle Seahawks at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 19, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Seahawks 31-14. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

In a somewhat shocking development, Knowshon Moreno out for this Sunday’s game against the Colts, per Max Broncos on Twitter:

Knowshon Moreno “sustained a little something he will not be able to play through this week,” McDaniels said.

McDaniels is a Bill Belichick disciple, so it’s no surprise that he’s playing things close to the vest. There’s no upside in giving anyone any extraneous information, so why not keep it a secret? Sure, he’s screwing over fantasy owners, but he doesn’t give two schnitz about us.

Anyway, this is seemingly a big boost for someone in the Denver backfield, but I’m not sure who. In his comments, Josh McDaniels seemed to go out of his way NOT to mention Correll Buckhalter, but instead mentioned Laurence Maroney and Andre Brown as guys who will pick up the slack. If you’re desperate at RB, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick up Maroney and/or Brown.

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Dumervil tears pec muscle as Broncos off to a horrific start in 2010

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 16:  Defensive end Elvis Dumervil #92 of the Denver Broncos leaves the line of scrimmage as the Denver Broncos defeated the Oakland Raiders 23-20 in overtime during week two NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 16, 2007 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

If this past week offers any indication of how the Broncos will fair in 2010, then Josh McDaniels and company are in for a long season.

Just days after the Broncos lost starting running back Knowshown Moreno for 2-3 weeks because of a torn right hamstring, Elvis Dumervil suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will be out for up to five months.

Fans have the right to remain hopeful that Dumervil will return at some point this season, but the math suggests otherwise. If he’s out for five months, that makes his return December and at that point, Denver might as well keep him out the rest of the year.

The real kick to the stones for the Broncos is that they just signed Dumervil to a six-year, $61.5 million contract three weeks ago. And this was after they deliberated about whether or not to just let the linebacker play on the one-year tender they signed him to in June.

But you can’t blame the Broncos for shelling out big bucks to their best pass-rusher. Dumervil led the league in sacks last year and had become a vital component to the team’s defense. Injuries obviously can’t be predicted and there was no way of knowing that Dumervil was going to rip a chest muscle less than a month after the Broncos broke out their checkbook. Despite their incredibly bad timing and luck, it was still the right decision for Denver at the time.

So what now? The Broncos have a couple of options available on the free agent market, including the recently released Aaron Schobel and former Patriot Adiliuas Thomas. But who knows whether or not Schobel would want to play in Denver’s 3-4 and given the lack of interest in Thomas this offseason (and his poor production in ’09 for Bill Belichick), maybe the Broncos will pass on signing a veteran. Of course, the team also has some internal options, as Robert Ayers could switch sides or Jarvis Moss could actually cash in on some of his first round potential. (That later idea is far-fetched, I know.)

Either way, the Broncos couldn’t be off to a worse start in 2010. Moreno should be back in a couple of weeks, but no team wants to see their best pass-rusher go down a month before the season. That’s not to say that other players can’t and/or won’t step up, but this isn’t the most talented team in the league as it is.

Moreno’s injury considered ‘minor’ — will miss three weeks

Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (27) runs upfield against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis on December 13, 2009. The Colts defeated the Broncos 28-16 to remain undefeated at 13-0 and set a new NFL record for Consecutive regular-season wins with 22. UPI /Mark Cowan Photo via Newscom

Per the Denver Post…

Broncos starting running back Knowshon Moreno is expected to be out three weeks after an MRI exam revealed no significant tear to his hamstring, according to an NFL source. Moreno suffered the injury Sunday morning during the Broncos’ first training-camp session.

This is great news, but I’d still move Moreno down a few slots on your cheatsheet until he’s back on the field. He has struggled with injuries in the past, and this doesn’t bode well for his ability to carry the load as a full-time back.

Knowshon Moreno suffers ‘serious’ leg injury

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 27:  Knowshon Moreno #27 of the Denver Broncos runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles on December 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Broncos 30-27.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Per NBC Sports…

A league source tells the Denver Post that Knowshon Moreno’s left leg injury “appears to be serious.” ESPN’s Adam Schefter seconds the report.

Some are calling it a torn hamstring while others say it’s a torn ligament. Let’s wait for confirmation before making any snap judgments. From a fantasy point of view, this is obviously a huge blow to Moreno’s stock and it looks like Correll Buckhalter is next in line, though he has a long injury history in his own right. Kolby Smith is currently listed next on the depth chart.

Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Brandon’s attitude, Pierre’s knee, Dallas RB split and more

HC McDaniels says that Brandon Marshall’s attitude has been “great” since returning from suspension. He went on to say that Marshall could “absolutely” contribute in Week 1. Marshall’s stock is still a little shaky, but this is exactly what his owners were looking for coming out of last week’s suspension. He’s a solid start against a traditionally bad Cincy defense.

Pierre Thomas misses Wednesday practice, likely out for Week 1. I wrote about this yesterday and suggested that owners pick up Mike Bell to start against the Lions on Sunday. It’s a great matchup and Bell proved in Denver that he is more than capable of posting good numbers.

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