ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams, who tore an ACL in Week 4 of last season, said Sunday that “the plan” is for him to be cleared for the start of training camp and at least some of which attends training after the team’s veteran players reported back on July 25.
When asked Sunday at a football camp he hosted with Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II if he would be medically cleared for training camp, Williams said, “I mean, that’s the plan. I feel like I’m ready to go.”
Williams, who was a Broncos second-round draft pick in 2021 and was named to the league’s all-rookie team this season, suffered a cruciate ligament tear and right cruciate ligament tear in the Broncos’ Oct. 2 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders Knee. has continued to work with the team’s training staff and strength and conditioning staff in recent weeks.
“It’s all about evaluating how the Broncos feel about this,” Williams said. “…Just seeing how I’m feeling, moving, just trying to get my speed back to normal, things like that.”
Broncos coach Sean Payton has said throughout the team’s offseason program that he believes Williams would be ready for training camp to begin, but on Sunday the most unequivocal response came from Williams.
The Broncos have demonstrated their confidence throughout the offseason, not utilizing any of their five draft picks in a strong running back class and forgoing a long list of high-profile veterans available in free agency to pick Samaje Signing Perine, who hasn’t made more than 95 carries in a season since he was a rookie in 2017.
“I’m very excited,” Surtain said on Sunday. “Vonte is looking good, I can’t wait for him to get back out there and play with the boys.”
Williams’ powerful, tackle-breaking style made him one of the team’s most popular youngsters, putting him on a 903-yard run as a rookie. In the last season before his injury, he had rushed for 204 yards in 47 carries.
Williams, who said he will continue to train with a brace on his surgically repaired knee, said Sunday he believes he has overcome the mental hurdles to continue playing with that physical style.
The third-year running back said he spoke extensively with former Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb, as well as Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick and Broncos linebacker Aaron Patrick during his recovery. All of these players have suffered cruciate ligament ruptures during their careers – both Tim Patrick and Aaron Patrick last season.
“Just the mental part of being able to move like you’ve been doing your whole life,” Williams said. “The first two months you just sit in bed and try to get it back on track.” That’s the hardest part. [But] That’s what I need to be, that’s what I’ve been all my life. “I don’t want to come back onto the field scared or shy. So when I get back out there I want to be at 100%.”