The Broncos hope the bye week came at a good time for rookie RB Ronnie Hillman, who is expected to continue getting more snaps as he gets more comfortable in the offense.
A hamstring injury in the preseason slowed the start of Hillman’s NFL career and when the season began, it appeared former first-rounder Knowshon Moreno would be the No. 2 back behind Willis McGahee. That was very temporary, though, as Moreno hasn’t played since Week Two.
Hillman played in five snaps against New England and eight against San Diego. He has 17 carries for 50 yards and four catches for 37 yards in four games. His pass-catching abilities help make him a solid third-down option for Peyton Manning, and head coach John Fox lauded Hillman's ability to be in on passing situations following Denver's Week Six win. We’re told that Hillman needed extra time to learn and get acquainted to the NFL game, and the injury set him back. One knock on his scouting report coming out of San Diego State was that he could have used another year of seasoning in college. But his production was stellar in college, and the bye week could help propel Hillman to become yet another weapon for the offense in the second half of the season.