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Payton: Broncos expect RB Javonte Williams to be ready for the start of training camp, 'hopeful' he'll avoid PUP list


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos continue their offseason workout program at team headquarters, Broncos running back Javonte Williams may be nearing his return to the field.

On Saturday, Head Coach Sean Payton told media the team is hopeful Williams will be physically ready to rejoin the team by training camp as he continues his recovery from last year's season-ending knee injury.

"Our current starter's doing extremely well," Payton said Saturday after a rookie minicamp practice. "I would tell you that we expect him to be ready for the start of training camp, and that's good news."

Williams has been on the road to recovery since suffering the injury in an Oct. 2 game against the Raiders. The former second-round pick was an All-Rookie Team selection in 2021 with 1,219 all-purpose yards and seven total touchdowns, and he was Denver's leading rusher in 2022 before missing the last 13 games of the year.

"His rehab's going well," Payton said. "I don't want to speak for him or [Vice President of Player Health & Performance] Beau [Lowery] or anyone else, but we get the daily reports. And look, we're pretty tight-lipped relative to information going out, but I've read a lot [and] I think his rehab's going well."

If Williams is to take part in training camp, his return will come about nine months after the injury. While the start of training camp has not yet been officially set, it has typically begun in late July in recent years.

"If a player's not ready at the start of training camp, he goes to PUP [Physically Unable to Perform]," Payton said. "We're hopeful that he's someone that might not have to go to PUP. That's good news."

Payton also was asked about outside linebacker Randy Gregory, who missed several weeks with a knee injury during the 2022 season and finished the year on injured reserve.

"Randy's doing well," Payton said. "Phase II [of the offseason program], he's been here. He's in good health. … Again, in Phase II we're doing a lot of the teaching. But yeah, he's doing well and looks good."

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