The lockers of the running backs who might take Willis McGahee's spot in the Broncos lineup are conveniently lined up, four in a row.
Lance Ball. Knowshon Moreno. Jeremiah Johnson. Ronnie Hillman.
Barring an unlikely free-agent signing, some combination of those four will be asked to fill in for the foreseeable future for Denver's leading rusher, McGahee, who tore a ligament in his right knee and will be out for what's expected to be a six-to-eight week stint.
Coach John Fox said McGahee's injury, suffered in the second quarter of Denver's 30-23 victory over San Diego on Sunday, will not require surgery and that the Broncos had no immediate plans to put the 10th-year veteran on injured reserve. Asked about reports that McGahee had also fractured his leg, Fox said, "I don't want to get into too much of the exacts, other than he will not be on IR."
By not putting him on injured reserve, the Broncos, at 7-3 and with a three-game lead in the AFC West, could be thinking about a playoff-time return for their leading rusher, who has 731 yards this year and was having one of his best games of the season -- 55 yards on seven carries -- before the injury Sunday.
Patriots: A person familiar with the process said Monday that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski expects to be sidelined for four to six weeks after having surgery for a broken left forearm. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.
Gronkowski caught seven passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against Indianapolis, becoming the first tight end in NFL history with at least 10 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. He has 53 catches for 748 yards this season.
Ravens: Baltimore star safety Ed Reed was suspended for one game by the NFL for repeated hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players. The 11-year veteran will miss Sunday's game against San Diego, which will cost him one game check of more than $400,000.
Reed is suspended for three violations of the player safety rules in the past three seasons. The latest came in Sunday night's 13-10 victory over Pittsburgh when he was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the third quarter for a hit to the head of receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Redskins: Washington safety Brandon Meriweather is out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, one day after his impressive season debut in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Meriweather had one interception, broke up two passes and had seven tackles despite playing a little more than half of the game. He missed the first nine games with sprained ligaments in his left knee.
Steelers: Pittsburgh quarterback Byron Leftwich injured his ribs in Sunday night's loss to Baltimore and will not start next week against the Cleveland Browns.
A person familiar with the injury told The Associated Press that Leftwich was hurt during the first quarter of the 13-10 loss to the Ravens. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not officially commented on Leftwich's status.
The Steelers (6-4) likely will turn to 37-year-old backup Charlie Batch against the Browns (2-8). The Steelers are already without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is out indefinitely with shoulder and rib injuries.
Lions: The team is benching wide receiver Titus Young this week after what coach Jim Schwartz called "unacceptable" behavior during Sunday's loss to Green Bay.
Falcons: Offensive lineman Joe Hawley received a four-game suspension from the NFL after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.