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Willis McGahee designated for return, could play AFC Championship

Denver Broncos v Oakland Raiders Getty Images

We noted earlier that Broncos running back Willis McGahee is being placed on injured reserve, but there’s a silver lining for Denver: McGahee has been designated for return.

That means McGahee will be able to play after sitting out for eight weeks. The regular season has six more weeks, which means the earliest McGahee could return would be the AFC Championship Game. That the Broncos designated McGahee for return indicates both that they’re optimistic he could be ready to go in eight weeks, and that they’re optimistic they’ll still be playing in eight weeks.

A new rule this year allows each team to place one player on injured reserve with the return designation. Those players are allowed to practice after six weeks and play after eight weeks. So McGahee could start practicing with the team during the wild card round of the playoffs, then play in the AFC Championship GAme and, if they make it, the Super Bowl.

Losing McGahee will make it tougher for the Broncos to get to the AFC Championship, but if they get there, they could have McGahee with them.

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19 Responses to “Willis McGahee designated for return, could play AFC Championship”
  1. biggestredmiami says: Nov 21, 2012 12:36 PM

    Woah talk about getting ahead of yourself

  2. rockthered1286 says: Nov 21, 2012 12:46 PM

    As a Ravens fan, I’m glad to hear it. Willis was a fan favorite here and it was tough to see him go. Glad he’s been successful in Denver (can’t say I’m not relieved that he won’t be running against our porous D in 3 weeks) and we’ll see you in the AFC Championship.

  3. superpats90 says: Nov 21, 2012 12:47 PM

    Wow, what’s next, you’re gonna display his stats in this years Superbowl? Its too soon the crown them yet.

  4. jbl429 says: Nov 21, 2012 12:47 PM

    Another reason they’d use this designation is there’s no time left to use it later in the season. 2 more weeks and the tag is 100% useless no matter how far the team goes into the post season. So might as well add him

  5. raylewisandhisteeth says: Nov 21, 2012 12:50 PM

    The Broncos annoy me now…..

  6. sullijo1 says: Nov 21, 2012 12:52 PM

    Why wouldn’t the Broncos designate him for return?? There is no downside. They have nobody else in that category today. If anyone gets hurt next week, they could only come back for a potential Super Bowl.

    Of course they did.

  7. tdk24 says: Nov 21, 2012 1:11 PM

    Play in the AFC Championship? Someone needs to tell Denver that the trading deadline is over.

  8. omegaichiban says: Nov 21, 2012 1:12 PM

    As much as he’s fumbled this year, I’m surprised they did it.Surprised if they keep him next year.

  9. tdk24 says: Nov 21, 2012 1:15 PM

    I don’t know what i’d enjoy watching more. Denver losing in the superbowl or the Patriots losing in the superbowl. I never get tired of watching the Patriots blow the biggest game of the year, but on the same hand I wouldn’t mind seeing the Falcons exact some revenge on the Donkeys.

  10. ravenmuscle says: Nov 21, 2012 1:19 PM

    Willis is lucky he wont play against the Ravens….and Peyton is UNLUCKY that he will have no running game.

  11. eventhorizon04 says: Nov 21, 2012 1:26 PM

    “I don’t know what i’d enjoy watching more. Denver losing in the superbowl or the Patriots losing in the superbowl. I never get tired of watching the Patriots blow the biggest game of the year, but on the same hand I wouldn’t mind seeing the Falcons exact some revenge on the Donkeys.”

    Falcons fans probably should spend their time praying that their team doesn’t continue their annual tradition of completely falling apart in their first (and only) playoff game, rather than ‘pick and choose’ Super Bowl opponents.

  12. watermelon1 says: Nov 21, 2012 1:38 PM

    Really sad that McGahee won’t be able to play in his “revenge” game against the Ravens in a couple weeks.

    Would be awesome to see it work out where Broncos and Ravens meet in the AFC Championship and McGahee is back! Perhaps Ray Lewis is back too, and we all get to see one more battle between the audibles of Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis.

  13. jjackwagon says: Nov 21, 2012 1:38 PM

    Since you are assuming that they will actually get to the AFC Championship game, you may want to think about the fact that if the season ended today they would be the 4 seed.
    You are also assuming they win against the 5th seeded Colts (which isn’t stretch).
    They would then play in Houston against the 1st seeded Texans. And you are assuming (again) that they would win in Houston to go to the AFC Championship.
    I think it is way too early to be assuming they will even get to the AFC Championship game. Let’s talk again in six weeks or so.

  14. xLith says: Nov 21, 2012 1:49 PM

    As a Ravens fan, I’m glad to hear it. Willis was a fan favorite here and it was tough to see him go. Glad he’s been successful in Denver (can’t say I’m not relieved that he won’t be running against our porous D in 3 weeks) and we’ll see you in the AFC Championship.
    ====================================

    Ravens, AFC championship? Not a chance this year.

  15. shoobiedoobin says: Nov 21, 2012 2:16 PM

    Are people really this dense that they think this is Denver being arrogant? Hardly, they’re obviously just making use of a rule that they probably won’t use on anyone else, so why the hell not? It’s either that, which is perfectly logical, or we’d have to believe a team ran by some pretty humble, experienced leaders (Elway, Manning, etc.) suddenly woke up arrogant. Right.

  16. jsratx says: Nov 21, 2012 2:46 PM

    Sorry, Willie. That’ll be the Texans and Patriots in Houston. Hope you get well soon though.

  17. FinFan68 says: Nov 21, 2012 3:38 PM

    It is more practical than optimistic. This is pretty much the last week they could possibly add that designation. Why not do it with a guy that would be useful if they last 8 weeks? The only other scenario even remotely plausible for them to use that would be if one of their defensive studs went down this week. After next week it doesn’t matter because both IR designations would mean the same thing–done for the rest of the season no matter how far the team gets in the playoffs.

  18. jnova80 says: Nov 21, 2012 3:45 PM

    I’m not even a Broncos fan and I can tell that this wasn’t meant to sound arrogant. All they said is that’s his time to return, if they get there and right now that doesn’t seem too farfetched.

  19. ebbycalvinlaloosh says: Nov 23, 2012 9:00 AM

    What else would they do? Place him on IR without the designation to return, so if by chance they do win a playoff game or two they aren’t able to use him, even if he’s healthy by then? Yes, that sounds like a great idea! Wouldn’t want stupid people to misinterpret the move as arrogant.

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