Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Notes: St. Louisan Ball Has Appendectomy, Will Miss Broncos Preseason

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Notes: St. Louisan Ball Has Appendectomy, Will Miss Broncos Preseason

Article excerpt

Ball to miss rest of Broncos' camp

Denver starting running back Montee Ball is sidelined because of appendicitis and isn't expected back until the reigning AFC champs' regular-season opener, Sept. 7 against Indianapolis.

Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson shared snaps with the first- string offense at practice Monday and are expected to get the bulk of the work in Ball's absence this month.

"I appreciate the get well wishes everyone! I will be OK and come back stronger than ever!!" Ball tweeted shortly before he was scheduled for his appendectomy at a Denver hospital.

Ball went to Timberland High in Wentzville before setting an NCAA record with 83 touchdowns at Wisconsin. He assumed the No. 1 running back job this offseason. He was Knowshon Moreno's backup last year and ran for 559 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.

Ball's strong second half helped the club decide to let Moreno leave in free agency. Moreno signed with Miami.

Coach John Fox said Ball started feeling sick Sunday during the Broncos' day off "and of course came in today, again, not feeling very good." Fox said the good news was that the organ didn't burst "so it was really a blessing that we caught it now."

The Broncos have little doubt that Ball will be able to resume his role as the Broncos' lead back.

"I'm not into predicting the future, but he's really grown a lot as far as his understanding of the offense and execution of all parts of his job," Fox said. "Knowing what kind of guy he is, he'll work at it and mentally he'll stay on top of his game and then when he comes back physically, we'll wait until he's ready."

Ball's absence means Hillman, Anderson and a host of undrafted free agents will get more carries in their quest for a roster spot.

Around the NFL * Quarterback Andy Dalton signed a six-year extension with the Bengals, which according to multiple reports is worth up to $115 million and will prevent Dalton playing out the final year of his rookie contract. …

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