AFC West: Reuben Droughns

Denver running backs over the years

November, 11, 2008
11/11/08
6:40
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

In light of all of the injuries in Denver's backfield this season, I wanted to update a look at Denver's tailbacks since coach Mike Shanahan took over in 1995 that I put together this summer:

Terrell Davis: The first and the best of the bunch. The sixth-round pick from Georgia was the spark to Denver's only two Super Bowl wins. He was a Super Bowl and NFL MVP and tallied 7,607 career rushing yards and 60 touchdowns before knee injuries cut short his brilliant career.

Olandis Gary: He took over for an injured Davis in 1999 and ran for 1,159 yards. He was injured the next year and was never a factor again.

Mike Anderson: The sixth-round pick from Utah became the offensive rookie of the year after rushing for 1,487 yards in 2000. The tough Anderson dealt with injuries but came back in 2005 with another 1,000-yard season.

Clinton Portis: He was a second-round pick and more highly touted than any other Denver running back of this era. Portis ran for more than 1,500 yards in both of his seasons in Denver before he was shipped to Washington for star cornerback Champ Bailey.

Reuben Droughns: The former fullback and special-teams player emerged during the 2004 season and ran for 1,240 yards. He was traded to Cleveland the next spring.

Tatum Bell: The 2004 second-round pick ran for 1,025 yards in 2006 and then was traded to Detroit for cornerback Dre' Bly. Bell was re-signed Tuesday and he will suit up Sunday at Atlanta.

Mike Bell: The undrafted rookie from Arizona shook up the league in 2006 with eight rushing touchdowns, but he was converted to fullback and rarely played last season. He was cut before training camp started.

Travis Henry: Signed to be the answer to the revolving door, Henry's was a disaster. He led the NFL in rushing after his first month in Denver but then his Denver career was riddled with him fighting a drug suspension (which he eventually won) and injuries. He was cut this June after he stopped showing up to work. He is currently facing federal drug charges.
 

Selvin Young: The 2007 undrafted rookie from Texas led Denver in rushing with 729 yards and was going to camp No. 1 on the depth chart, but he didn't win the role and is a backup. Young has been dealing with a groin injury for more than month.

Michael Pittman: The veteran offseason pickup took the job away from Young. He brought toughness to the position. But he was lost for the season earlier this month with a neck injury.

Andre Hall: The speedster had a role on the offense but he broke his hand and was put on the injured reserve the same day as Pittman was.

Ryan Torain: The rookie from Arizona State drew comparisons to Davis from Shanahan but he broke his elbow early in training camp. Torain came back and became the No. 1 tailback. He looked good against Cleveland last week as he had 12 carries for 68 yards. But he blew out his knee and he is lost for the season.

Peyton Hillis: He will likely get the primary carries against Atlanta on Sunday. But Hillis was an emergency option. He is a seventh-round pick whose main position is fullback.

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