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Denver Broncos loaded at running back even without no-show veteran Willis McGahee

Willis McGahee apparently is counting on history repeating itself.

The grizzled running back skipped some of last year's offseason workouts, then showed up at the mandatory minicamp and handily won the Denver Broncos' starting job during training camp.

His absence this time around is much more of a gamble.

McGahee is pushing 32, he's coming off a serious knee injury, he's set to make $2.5 million this season and the void he left at practice has been filled nicely by second-year speedster Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball, who scored an NCAA-record 83 touchdowns at Wisconsin.