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Knowshon Moreno named Denver Broncos' No. 2 RB

Knowshon Moreno was pegged in the offseason as a man on the bubble, a figure fighting for his career.

The Denver Broncos running back -- on the road back from surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament-- is now listed as the team's No. 2 man behind starter Willis McGahee, The Denver Post reported.

"(Moreno) worked extremely hard, and he deserves a lot of the credit for that," offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. "I think he saw what Willis had done over his career after a knee injury (in 2002), and that gave him a little bit of motivation. He's made the most of every opportunity we've given him."

Moreno, the team's former first-round draft pick, was buried on the depth chart in August. Coaches were impressed with his preseason (13 rushes for 64 yards) and Moreno showed sparkle catching the ball out of the backfield, too, making him a good fit for third-down packages.

The Broncos hoped rookie Ronnie Hillman, who battled hamstring injuries in training camp, would fill that role, but he hasn't shown great presence in pass protection. He hasn't been a complete player.

Broncos head honcho John Elway agreed last week that "Knowshon probably makes us a better football team." That very notion was questioned at the start of camp. Moreno's rapid ascension goes against what many predicted just months ago.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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