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'Next Man Up' Paying Dividends

Posted Dec 19, 2012

When the Broncos have faced injuries, the roster has responded in a big way.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- By Week 16 of the season, all NFL teams are dealing with injuries. Some clubs have the ability to overcome those injuries better than others.

When it comes to the Broncos, Head Coach John Fox said he's been extremely pleased with the way his team has responded.

Currently on injured reserve, the Broncos have their starting running back -- Willis McGahee -- their starting center -- J.D. Walton -- their starting middle linebacker -- Joe Mays -- and three players that were getting starters' reps prior to the season -- safety Quinton Carter, defensive end Jason Hunter and defensive tackle Ty Warren.

Yet Denver is in the midst of a nine-game winning streak.

“All in all, I think our personnel department did an outstanding job," Fox said." You look at the guys we’ve lost, whether it’s been Joe Mays at middle linebacker with Keith Brooking stepping in. You look at J.D. Walton at center and Dan Koppen stepping in. (Safety) Jim Leonhard has been in a variety of packages. So I think all in all, you look at what (running back) Knowshon’s done when Willis went down. It is the next-man-up philosophy. You try to pick your best 53 and you have confidence that all of them can play when called upon.”

One of those players, Moreno, just took home the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after his 118-yard rushing performance against the Baltimore Ravens.

When the award was announced to the team, quarterback Peyton Manning couldn't have been happier.

“It’s awesome," Manning said."The team was fired up. Knowshon, I know he was grateful. He said a few words to the team and how much he appreciated it."

"Great individual effort by him and just a great credit to him for being ready kind of when his number was called at this point in the season.”

Moreno said the award was a credit to the offensive line's blocking up front. And when he heard he took home the honor, it was just that -- an honor.

“Just really proud and being happy to be a part of this team, being blessed to be a part of this team with these great teammates I have, always being on my side," Moreno said. "We all just lift each other up when people are down. Just being a part of this team, being a part of the players in this locker room just meant a lot.”