Moreno resurrected
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - When he hurdled over an upright Ed Reed Sunday, Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno displayed surprising spryness and agility for an undead entity.

And that's what Moreno is, a zombie who was buried less than a month ago but has burst through the dirt to seek human flesh ... and rushing yards.

Moreno has resurrected his career in the last four weeks, likely helping many fantasy owners advance in the playoffs.

After being on the roster bubble in the preseason, Moreno hadn't played in a game since Week 2. He was behind Willis McGahee, Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball on the depth chart, so even when McGahee tore his MCL and broke his leg in Week 11, Moreno wasn't guaranteed to see a single carry.

Hillman looked to be the guy Broncos coach John Fox would turn to, but Fox pulled the rug out from under fantasy owners and announced Moreno as his starter hours before kickoff in Week 12. And we all joked that Moreno would fumble or get hurt on his first carry and would be back on the sideline quicker than it would take to Google the origin of the name Knowshon (it's a portmanteau of his father's nickname "Knowledge" and his mother's name Varashon, by the way).

But Moreno has had the last laugh, running for 391 yards and two touchdowns and catching 14 passes for 96 yards in the last four games, including 100-plus yards rushing and a touchdown in each of the last two games. After not handing him a uniform for eight straight games, Fox has given Moreno at least 20 carries in each of the last four games (94 total).

Even in the NFL, where redemption stories are plentiful, Moreno's success is stunning. He was closer to the unemployment line than the goal line a month ago. Moreno was a former first-round pick, drafted 13th overall in 2009. But that was under former coach Josh McDaniels. Fox had no responsibility for taking Moreno so he didn't have any incentive to play him.

Moreno had been a massive bust for the Broncos organization due to injuries and ineffectiveness, running for 1,905 yards and 12 touchdowns in 36 games coming into this season. He had lost his job to McGahee in 2011 before an ACL tear ended his season. And after running for a touchdown in Week 1, Moreno lost a fumble the following week and was benched for the next eight games.

But six games before he probably would have been sent packing, the team suddenly turned to the 25-year-old and he has run exactly as you would expect -- like his career depends on it.

Moreno's two 100-yard games in the last two weeks are the same amount he had previously in his career. Both of those came in 2010, in Week 10 and Week 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs, the same team he faced in Week 12 this season when Fox gave him his most important opportunity.

Moreno's production has resulted in 55 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues, including 38 over the last two games. He'll get Cleveland in Week 16 and Kansas City again in Week 17, so it's likely this undead being will continue to roam the Earth for another two weeks.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

STAR64 WSTR-TV Cincinnati :: Advertise with us!