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Broncos release running back Jeremiah Johnson in procedural move

Denver could bring Johnson back as early as next week.

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

The Denver Broncos had a choice to make. Either promote running back Jeremiah Johnson from the practice squad to fill the vacant spot on the roster left by Willis McGahee's placement on injured reserve or release him.

They chose the latter.

In a procedural move, the Broncos released Johnson on Friday, but have plans of re-signing him early next week. The Broncos now have three running backs available to make up for the loss of McGahee in Knowshon Moreno, Lance Ball and Ronnie Hillman.

The loss of McGahee is having a ricochet effect on the team as he has provided the rushing game with an option opposed to the Peyton Manning-led passing game. McGahee is a well-respected, proven back in the league and deserved defensive attention, allowing Manning to use play-action in the passing game.

The Broncos have a three-game lead in the AFC West and play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.