Thursday, August 9, 2007

Backup battle

Travis Henry will get at least 25 carries in many games. He’d get 50 if the Broncos thought he could handle it. So most of the time the backup tailback will be able to figure out the trivia question on the stadium scoreboard and try different flavors of Gatorade. Remember, from 1996 to 1998, the most carries a Broncos backup got in a season was 59 by Aaron Craver in 1996. That’s less than 3.7 carries per game. And remember, that was the highest mark in Terrell Davis’ three greatest seasons. Henry might not be Davis, but he’ll likely be used as such.

So why does the battle between Cecil Sapp and Mike Bell matter? Because at some point, the Broncos might need to win a game or two without Henry. Injuries are part of life for running backs, especially those like Henry who crave contact. So either Sapp or Bell could be in line for an important role in this season.

Sapp has taken many of the snaps with the second team, but Bell took most of them today. The four preseason games, starting Monday at San Francisco, should determine who gets the chance to back up Henry, which will be one of the more interesting subplots to the preseason.

No comments: