Before the 2013 NFL season many experts targeted Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman as a potential breakout candidate. Conventional wisdom had Hillman and rookie Montee Ball taking over in Denver’s backfield and forming an exciting one-two punch at running back. Just seven weeks into the season Hillman has already found himself deep in head coach John Fox’s doghouse.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post is reporting that Hillman will not be active for the Broncos this week after fumbling in back-to-back games. In Week 7 he coughed the ball up near the goal line and that cost Denver any chance it had of beating the Indianapolis Colts.
C.J. Anderson will replace Hillman on the game-day roster as the team’s No. 3 back for this Sunday’s matchup against the Washington Redskins. If you have Hillman on your fantasy team it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and dump him. Knowshon Moreno and Ball will almost certainly be the team’s top two backs for the rest of the season.
Hillman is in his second year out of San Diego State and the 5-10, 195-pound slasher was expected to be a big contributor for the Broncos, especially with Peyton Manning at quarterback. The third-round pick from the 2012 NFL Draft has yet to find any consistency despite the fact that he’s the exact type of dual-threat running back Manning loves to feed.
In 14 games as a rookie, Hillman rushed for 330 yards on 85 carries (3.9 yards per carry) and scored just one touchdown. He also had two fumbles, while also racking up 62 yards on 10 receptions.
So far this season Hillman has rushed for 182 yards on 40 carries (4.6 yards per carry), with one touchdown and two fumbles. He also has 119 yards on 12 receptions.
Hillman saw first-team reps in the preseason, but has since dropped so far out of favor he isn’t even going to dress on Sunday. That’s a huge fall for a guy who was expected to make an impact this season. At this rate, don’t be shocked if Hillman isn’t with the Broncos next season.