ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Running back Javonte Williams beat the expected timeline with his return to the field from a season-ending knee injury, but he isn't letting that injury change his lofty goals for the upcoming season.
"I feel just like if I had come in healthy," Williams said.
Williams is set for the Broncos' season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders, giving back Denver's offense one of its most dynamic weapons. The third-year back appeared in the Broncos' preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers and said the return to game action prepared him for Week 1.
"I feel like I'm a lot more relaxed," Williams said. "I've already [been] tackled — I know how it feels [and] it feels pretty good."
The Broncos' run game will face a stiff test from the Las Vegas defense in its attempts to set the tone. Last year, Williams' season ended against the Raiders, and while he said that game is still on his mind, he's not letting his history against Las Vegas distract him from the task ahead.
The toughest challenge for Williams might be acclimating to game speed. Williams said he was able to slow the game down over the course of his performance against the 49ers and knows that Week 1 will have a different intensity than training camp and this week's practices.
"It's hard to simulate the game," Williams said. "You can probably get used to it in practice after probably a week or something, but the game is always different. You never know what is going to happen. It's not scripted, things like that, so it's really read and react."
Denver will have a plethora of options in the backfield, including Williams, offseason addition Samaje Perine and undrafted free agent Jaleel McLaughlin. Williams isn't sure what his workload will look like on Sunday, but he plans to maximize his opportunities.
"I don't really know how many plays I'm going to get," Williams said. "I'm just going to make it count."