Newly signed Denver Broncos running back Theo Riddick will miss the next six to eight weeks after suffering a fractured shoulder in the Broncos’ preseason game against the Seahawks.

The news was first reported by 9News’ Mike Klis, who added that the veteran back won’t require any surgery on the injured shoulder to get back onto the field for the Broncos. He should finally suit up for the orange and blue as they travel to play the Chargers on Oct. 6th at the latest, but he could play as early as Sep. 15th in Denver against the Bears.

This injury partly explains why Riddick struggled so much in his preseason debut for the Broncos. It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly he suffered the fracture, but it’s unlikely he was healthy for much of the game.

Also, while there is certainly empathy between the teammates, Devontae Booker, Khalfani Muhammad and Devontae Jackson must all be excited now, as their chances of making the roster improve.

Booker is the front-runner to replace Riddick, but Muhammad and Jackson have both looked better in the preseason than him, offer more as returners, and may even be better pass catchers. The two areas of the position where Booker is undeniably better is blocking/pass protection, and experience.

Given the money Denver could save by releasing him, though, and his dismal preseason so far, is the slight edge in talent and experience worth the cost of keeping him as the fourth back on the depth chart?

No matter who finishes with the final running back roster spot, Theo Riddick’s shoulder injury has undoubtedly added juice to the position battle.