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Broncos promote Boyd to active roster

Cory Boyd
Cory Boyd

Former USC running back Cory Boyd will get his shot this week at being the backup running back for the Denver Broncos.

Rookie Peyton Hillis has a torn right hamstring and is done for the season, becoming the fifth Broncos tailback to go on injured reserve.

The Broncos promoted Boyd from the practice squad to compete with P.J. Pope to serve as Tatum Bell's backup. Bell was selling cell phones at a local mall when he was signed last month.

Boyd, who was signed to the Broncos' practice squad on Nov. 4 after being waived by Tampa Bay in July, said he's caught on quickly to Denver's offense because he ran in a similar offense at South Carolina.

The Broncos play the Carolina Panthers this Sunday in Charlotte.

Coach Mike Shanahan said Hillis will need eight weeks to recover and might need surgery. Hillis was hurt Sunday after an acrobatic catch against Kansas City when was bent over with his right leg planted and his knee locked on the tackle.

Hillis joined tailbacks Andre Hall, Michael Pittman, Anthony Alridge and Ryan Torain on IR. Plus, Selvin Young, the starter when the season began, has carried just once in the last two months because of a torn groin.