ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- With running back Willis McGahee on injured reserve with a designation for return, the Broncos have signed running back Jacob Hester, the team announced on Monday.
The team also added running back Jeremiah Johnson back to the practice squad, where he spent the first 11 weeks of the 2012 season.
A fifth-year pro, Hester has rushed for 319 yards on 94 carries (3.4 avg.) with one touchdown in 62 career games (23 starts). A third-round draft choice by the San Diego Chargers in 2008, he spent his first four seasons in San Diego.
Hester is also a receiving threat out of the backfield, having caught 55 passes for 308 yards (5.6 avg.) and three touchdowns in his career. He's also made an impact on special teams, having posted 36 tackles and scored two special-teams touchdowns.
Hester played 52 games at Louisiana State University, running for 1,780 yards with 20 touchdowns and catching 60 passes for 454 yards with seven receiving scores. He fumbled just once in 364 career carries and was a starter on LSU's 2007 National Championship team.
Johnson has rushed for 77 yards on 14 carries with seven catches for 62 yards in eight career NFL games.
With the addition of Hester, the Broncos now have five backs on the active roster: Hester, Lance Ball, Chris Gronkowski, Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno.