If Willis McGahee had to play a game tomorrow, ”No, I couldn’t go,” he said.
But if he gets the call to play on, say, Jan. 20 in the AFC title game, the Broncos running back thinks he could be there.
”This isn’t my first rodeo for a knee,” McGahee said Monday, as the Broncos started preparing for their divisional playoff game Saturday against Baltimore. ”I’ve been through a lot worse.”
The 10th-year veteran, who became one of the NFL’s most dependable runners despite tearing all the ligaments in his left knee during his last game in college, is eligible to return to practice Tuesday after tearing a ligament in his right knee on Nov. 18. He would be eligible to play in the AFC championship game if Denver advances.
McGahee said his rehabilitation is going well, but he doesn’t know how the knee will respond when he returns to practice. Coach John Fox was noncommittal about the timing of McGahee’s return and said he would update the team’s injuries on Tuesday.
McGahee got the bulk of Denver’s carries through the first 9 1/2 games, but went down in the second quarter of a home game against San Diego in November. Despite the injury, he led the team with 731 yards rushing in the regular season.
Since McGahee was put on the recallable injured reserve list, Knowshon Moreno has replaced McGahee in the lineup and has rushed for 525 yards in six starts. Moreno averages 3.8 yards a carry. McGahee averaged 4.4.
McGahee said he felt no sense of frustration watching another running back do his job while he’s injured. This is the fifth playoff team he’s been part of. None of the previous four – three in Baltimore and one with the Broncos – went to the Super Bowl.
”We’re winning,” he said. ”Three more games to the Super Bowl, as long as we keep winning. My selfish days are over with. It’s time to get a ring.”