Week 6 injury update: Who gets the Ball in Denver?

Broncos RB Montee Ball might have suffered the most serious fantasy injury of Week 5, as his groin strain is expected to keep him out for up to three weeks. Ronnie Hillman ran 15 times for 64 yards after Ball got hurt, but what will happen moving forward?

The Denver Post reports that the "Broncos’ stable of running backs will be led" by Hillman, with C.J. Anderson and rookie Juwan Thompson as Hillman’s backups. Mile High Report also says that Hillman figures to get the starting nod. Many of you had targeted Anderson as Ball’s handcuff, and while it’s possible that he could emerge, Hillman is the RB choice in Denver – at least until he fumbles, angers John Fox and gets sent to the doghouse.

In other news …

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell wlll "strongly" consider sitting WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) in Week 6. RBs Reggie Bush (ankle) and Joique Bell (concussion) are also iffy for this week’s game at Minnesota. George Winn led the team in carries against the Bills and Theo Riddick (hamstring) would return to action this week, but the possibility that Bush and/or Bell will play makes those guys unattractive fantasy free agents.

In other Lions’ news, the team will audition a few veteran kickers today after cutting Alex Henery

Saints TE Jimmy Graham might have sprained his shoulder against the Bucs, but with the Saints on a Week 6 bye, we might not learn much about his status for awhile. The Chiefs are also off this week.

Giants RB Rashad Jennings is likely to miss Week 6 – and possibly more – due to a sprained knee ligament. Rookie Andre Williams will lead the way in the Giants’ backfield and should be locked on your free-agent radar, but NJ.com reports that Peyton Hillis "should factor into the rotation" as well.

Chargers RB Donald Brown suffered a concussion on Sunday, leading to Branden Oliver’s breakout game. Brown’s status for Week 6 against the Raiders is TBD, but look for Oliver to have a sizable role even if Brown plays.

My free-agent RB ranking of the players mentioned so far in this post would be Williams, Hillman, Oliver. Oliver’s workload is up in the air due to Brown’s uncertain status and a possible return of Ryan Mathews by Week 7 or 8, but if Brown can’t play this week, Oliver could have another big game against the Raiders and be the best short-term option of this bunch. Hillman’s upcoming schedule is @NYJ/v.SF, while Williams’ is @PHI/@DAL. Hillman has the most near-term boom/bust potential, Williams the likeliest rest-of-season staying power.

Rams RB Zac Stacy strained a calf muscle on Sunday, but head coach Jeff Fisher said Monday that "the preliminary evaluation is it doesn’t look like he’ll miss the game" against the 49ers this week.

Reminder: Your Thursday game is Colts-Texans. Maybe this one will be decided by less than 24 points.

Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno (elbow) participated in Monday’s practice, but his status for Week 6 is still TBD. 

The Titans are calling QB Jake Locker day to day due to his bruised right thumb.

The Cardinals seem to think that either Carson Palmer (shoulder) or Drew Stanton (concussion) will be able to start at quarterback this week, but head coach Bruce Arians said that Palmer needs to participate in a full practice first.

"It is a focus" to get WR Torrey Smith going, according to Ravens’ head coach Jim Harbaugh. Let’s see it, coach.

Here’s an update on the Panthers’ running back injuries. Fozzy Whittaker was "set up to be the emergency guy" in Week 5, according to head coach Ron Rivera. Hmm …

See you back here Friday morning.

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