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.