The Denver Broncos ruled Mike Ford out of Week 6's home tilt vs. the Las Vegas Raiders as the defensive back has battled a knee injury. On Saturday, with running back Mike Boone healthy and ready to return off injured reserve, the Broncos made a pair of roster moves.
Per 9NEWS' Mike Klis, Ford was placed on IR while Boone was activated. Ford's contributions have come on special teams since arriving off waivers in early September so losing him, even for a game, was cause for misgivings considering Denver's inconsistencies covering punts and kicks.
Fortunately, Boone is also a very accomplished special teams ace so those scales should be balanced for the Broncos. Boone is a talented and versatile running back but as an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati in 2018, he had to prove himself on special teams in order to earn a roster spot in Minnesota.
Over time, Boone's third-phase acumen earned him opportunities in the Vikings offense where he went on to start a pair of games in 2019, rushing for 279 yards and three touchdowns. His career stats might not raise the eyebrows of any Broncos fan but the best way to view Boone's production is through a quality-vs.-quantity prism.
The Broncos signed Boone to a two-year deal worth up to $3.85 million just days after rescinding Phillip Lindsay restricted free-agent tender. Just before he could really start flashing his skill-set to Broncos fans, Boone suffered a rather severe quad injury in the Broncos' joint practices with the Vikings ahead of preseason Game 1.
Week 6 will finally give Broncos Country its first look at Boone and what he can do for this team. While he'll certainly play on special teams, it'll be interesting to see how much running backs coach Curtis Modkins opts to utilize Boone on offense.
However, with starter Melvin Gordon III banged up and questionable with a hip injury, Boone will give Denver an abundance of options on gameday. Rookie second-rounder Javonte Williams has been impressive and likely could handle the load as a true bell-cow if called upon, but now that he's healthy, there's no reason to keep the talented Boone riding the pine.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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