In his first start in 56 weeks, Denver running back Knowshon Moreno kept the pile moving forward, didn’t fumble and didn’t get hurt. It was, in his coach’s eyes, such a solid performance that Moreno will start again next week, too.
Playing his first game since Sept. 17, and making his first start since Oct. 30, 2011, Moreno rushed for 85 yards on 20 carries in a steady return for the Broncos.
He ran for 30 of those yards while the Broncos were draining all but 14 seconds of the final 6:24 off the clock in their 17-9 win over Kansas City. In other words, Moreno did precisely what the Denver running game is designed to do in 2012 – complement Peyton Manning and help the Broncos salt away games.
But up to now, the Broncos, 8-3 and one win away from clinching the AFC West, have used one back as the featured runner in that committee while everyone else has played supporting roles. Before getting injured in the second quarter last Sunday, Willis McGahee had 173 of the running backs’ 257 carries (67 percent), with the rest divided between Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball and Moreno.
Moreno had only eight of those carries. Since he lost a fumble in Week 2 against the Falcons, he hasn’t been seen in a uniform on a game day.
Coach John Fox said the running back’s extended period on the scout team wasn’t so much caused by the fumble as the torn ACL he suffered last November.
Holmgren uncertain of future
Browns outgoing president Mike Holmgren says he still has not decided if he will coach in the NFL again.
Holmgren is leaving the Browns this week after initially planning to stay until the end of this season. Holmgren said after weeks of meetings with new owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner he has decided the time was right and feels he has “passed the baton.” Holmgren says he departs feeling somewhat unsatisfied because he wasn’t able to finish the job of turning the Browns into winners.
Holmgren adds he will return to his home in Arizona this week and contemplate his next move. He does not yet know if he will stay working in football and he denies any interest in coaching Dallas, a rumor that surfaced weeks ago.
League won’t suspend Suh
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted that the Lions have been notified that Ndamukong Suh won’t be suspended for last Thursday’s low blow against Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, though it will be reviewed for a potential fine.
Suh was on his chest after being taken down by an offensive lineman and extended his left foot to hit Schaub below the belt. Suh’s left cleat connected with Schaub’s groin area after he threw a pass in the first quarter of Houston’s 34-31 overtime win.
Buccaneers’ Wright suspended
Tampa Bay’s porous secondary took another hit when cornerback Eric Wright was suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Wright is the second Tampa Bay starter disciplined for using Adderall. Cornerback Aqib Talib was suspended Oct. 13 for four games and subsequently traded to the New England Patriots while serving the ban.
Around the league
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver and return man Kyle Williams said he will miss the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his left knee sustained in Sunday’s win at New Orleans. … Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden is being treated for a concussion and it’s not yet known if he’ll play this week at Oakland. … Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter is out for the season with a dislocated left elbow, making him the fourth Dallas defensive starter to go on injured reserve. … New England Patriots defensive end Jermaine Cunningham has been suspended by the NFL for four games without pay for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances. … Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak fired offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and replaced the veteran with quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains. Loggains had worked for several coordinators including the late Mike Heimerdinger and Palmer.
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