Football briefs: Broncos RB Hall settling into No. 2 spot on depth chart

Pro Football Weekly staff

The Way We Hear It: Broncos RB Hall settling into No. 2 spot on depth chart

Broncos RB Andre Hall appears to be nailing down a more defined role as the team’s No. 2 back, the way we hear it. Hall will likely be used to sell Selvin Young during drives and will be the top option near the goal line.

Earlier this month Hall was fighting for a shot at carries in a crowded backfield, but an elbow injury to rookie Ryan Torain has given him some breathing room.

Though Hall and Young are roughly the same size, Hall is viewed as a tougher, grittier rusher and will be counted on to plow the ball into the endzone. Hall helped establish that reputation last season, when he carried 26 times for 98 yards and a touchdown in a Week 12 game against the Bears in Chicago.

While his competition has been trimmed, any missteps could cost Hall. Denver is likely to keep Michael Pittman as a FB-RB hybrid, and undrafted rookie Anthony Alridge is battling for a roster spot.

NFL whispers

SEAHAWKS: Offsetting the disappointment resulting from the release of Seahawks former first-round draft pick Marcus Tubbs after he was unable to recuperate from season-ending knee injuries the past two years, the team couldn’t be more pleased with DT Howard Green. Word is Seattle coaches were pleasantly surprised because, before appearing in five games for the Seahawks late last season, Green had last played in the league in 2004 for the Saints.

BEARS: Daily Bears observers have good things to say about seventh-round OT Kirk Barton, who they believe could become a factor on the right side of the line sooner than later.

PACKERS: Our Packers sources have yet to see any trace of former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, who was hired as a consultant at the height of “Favregate.” Said one longtime insider: “I really don’t know what he’s supposed to be doing.”

The Fantasy Buzz

BILLS: Although Marshawn Lynch is the only premier fantasy player the Bills boast, the steady play this preseason of a Jason Peters-less offensive line bodes well for fantasy commodities such as Trent Edwards, Lee Evans and James Hardy. It’s fair to assume that once Peters ends his holdout, this line consistently should give Edwards enough time to operate and should open up the running lanes for Lynch.

BENGALS: Bengals TE Ben Utecht’s strong training camp has carried into the preseason, as he is looking more and more like he’ll be Cincinnati’s de facto No. 3 target in the passing game.

REDSKINS: The Redskins’ rookie receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly have done little to date, mostly because of injuries. But the coaches remain high on both, perhaps Kelly a tad bit more immediately because of his red-zone skill. The coaches assume that Kelly will bounce back from his minor knee surgery, just as Thomas appears to have done after a nagging hamstring injury. It might be best to stay patient with these guys, as Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El remain the top two wideouts.

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