- Jeff Legwold, ESPN Staff Writer
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos first-year class is seeing just how tough it can be to carve out a role on one of the league’s heavyweights. The snaps are hard to come by and they have to be earned with consistency.
With that in mind, here’s the rookie report, a weekly check-in with how Denver's first-year class on offense is doing:
Running back Montee Ball: Ball is battling to be the Broncos’ grind-it-out option in the run game, especially in late-game, close-it-out scenarios, but he simply has to be more reliable with the ball -- he fumbled into the end zone on the Broncos' first possession this past weekend -- and consistently make a little more of the running room that’s available. Ball played 28 snaps Sunday – by comparison Knowshon Moreno played 44 and Ronnie Hillman had two – and Ball had 12 carries in the game. But of those 12 carries, eight went for 2 or fewer yards and that total included three 1-yard carries, two for no gain and one carry for minus-3 yards. For the year Ball is now averaging just 2 yards per carry and while he has just two fewer carries than Moreno – 20 to Moreno’s 22 – Ball has rushed for 81 fewer yards in two games.
Quarterback Zac Dysert: Dysert was the No. 3 quarterback once again, so ended up being one of the Broncos’ seven game day inactives against the Giants. Dysert looked smooth in an extended pre-game workout with quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp. Knapp worked through a series of progressions with Dysert several hours before kickoff.
Running back C.J. Anderson: Anderson continues to make progress in his recovery from a severe MCL sprain he suffered during practice in the days following the preseason opener. He practiced on a limited basis last week before being declared as doubtful for the game last Friday. He was also one of the team’s seven game day inactives. It’s difficult to see just yet what role Anderson could have in the offense in the near future when Broncos coach John Fox said Monday the team was already having a difficult time even splitting the available carries up between Moreno, Ball and Hillman.
Practice squad: Wide receiver Tavarres King, a fifth-round pick, and tackle Vinston Painter, a sixth-round pick, were waived in the final cutdown, and continue to work primarily as scout team players.
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