Montee Ball‘s disappointing season has come to an end, as Mike Klis of the Denver Post writes that the Broncos will place their second-year running back on the injured reserve. Ball will join Quinton Carter on the season-ending list, with linebacker Danny Trevathan and tight end Dominique Jones taking the two open roster spots.
Coming off a rookie season where he rushed for 559 yards and four touchdowns, Ball faced various ailments from the start of his second campaign. Despite undergoing an appendectomy during the preseason, he was the team’s featured back through the first month of the season. He suffered a groin injury in the Broncos’ early-October victory over Arizona, forcing him out of the lineup for more than a month. He made a brief return in a November loss to the Rams, but his groin injury lingered.
As Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo notes (via Twitter), the emergence of C.J. Anderson allowed the team to end Ball’s season early. Anderson and the injured Ronnie Hillman have combined for 1,347 all-purpose yards and ten touchdowns this season, while Ball compiled 234 yards and a touchdown in five games. While the former second-rounder hasn’t lived up to expectations since entering the league, Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) have not been overly critical of the running back.
Carter showed a lot of promise when he entered the league in 2011, starting 12 games as a rookie. The Oklahoma product spent the next two seasons recovering from knee surgery, and he was used primarily as a backup nickel safety this season. Klis notes in his report that Carter’s career with the Broncos could be finished, as the 26-year-old is set to be a free agent at the end of the season.
Trevathan played two games for the Broncos earlier this season before succumbing to a knee injury. The third-year pro was subsequently placed on the IR-DTR. Trevathan will likely slide back into a backup role with Denver, one season after finishing with more than 100 tackles.
Jones’ promotion is insurance in case Julius Thomas or Jacob Tamme are limited this weekend. The tight end has bounced around a bit since entering the league in 2011, spending time with the Colts, Dolphins, Chiefs and Bills.