With starting tailback Willis McGahee likely to miss the rest of the regular season with a torn MCL, the Denver Broncos will now be forced to scramble to replicate his undeniable production in the backfield going forward.
McGahee leads the Broncos in virtually every rushing statistic through 10 games, and has even churned out a better yards per carry average (4.0) than backups Lance Ball (3.8) and Ronnie Hillman (3.8). Although McGahee's recent trend of coughing the ball up to opponents had started to become an issue, there's simply no denying just how immense this MCL injury is from a personnel standpoint in John Fox's razor-thin backfield.
SB Nation's Denver Broncos blog Mile High Report couldn't help but agree with the magnitude of the loss after hearing the somber news:
The loss of Willis McGahee is a huge loss for the Broncos. Despite his trouble holding onto the ball, he has been without a doubt the best running back on the Broncos.
The math is pretty easy for when McGahee may return. Either way, McGahee is likely to miss the rest of the regular season. Expect the Broncos to use the IR/Designated to Return label, allowing him to return for the playoffs.
Already 31 years old and hardly on what one would consider to be the right side of his career as an NFL tailback, McGahee still faces long odds to return as the same player he was earlier in the season. While his return to the field would obviously provide a huge boost, the Broncos may not even have the opportunity to welcome him back if the combination of Ball and Hillman can't step up down the stretch.