Denver running back situation becomes worse

Wednesday, September 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DENVER – The news went from bad to worse Tuesday for the Denver Broncos and their ailing running backs.

With Terrell Davis already hampered by a sprained left ankle, the Broncos learned that backup Olandis Gary will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Gary, who ran for a Denver rookie record 1,159 yards in 12 games last season, injured the knee in the third quarter of the Broncos' 41-36 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Monday night. He remained in the game and had runs of 25 and 13 yards in the fourth quarter.

"It just wasn't feeling right, but he said, 'There was no way I was coming out of that game,"' Gary's agent, Harold Lewis, said Tuesday. "At the end, when everything had calmed down, I said, 'Are you all right?' He said, 'I'm all right. I'll be ready for next week."'

Despite Gary's optimism, doctors recommended an MRI, and the test Tuesday revealed a complete tear of Gary's right ACL. An identical injury ended Davis' season in the fourth game last year.

Shanahan reported improvement to Davis' ankle and hoped to have the 1998 NFL MVP back at practice on Thursday. The prognosis was not as good for linebacker Al Wilson, who had two interceptions but separated his shoulder late in the game. He is listed as questionable for Sunday.