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Mason's Mailbag: What can Jamaal Charles bring in 2017?

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You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.*

If the O-line struggles again this year, do you see us using a formation utilizing both Jamaal Charles and Andy Janovich as extra blockers often? Jamaal seems great at picking up the blitz while Jano was essentially one of our best O-lineman last season. This does sound like an effective combo we could have used last year. Not to mention the tantalizing matchup nightmare this would also pose.

-- Joseph Ngai

I think you'll see Janovich given some blocking responsibilities, but I don't think you'll see Charles used as an extra blocker on a regular basis. Given his recent injury issues, the Broncos will likely be judicious in the number of snaps he plays, and blocking probably isn't the best use of his talent during those limited repetitions.

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Do you think there is a chance we will have two 1,000-yard rushers now that Charles was added to our offense?**

-- Rafael Vasquez

Whoa, slow down there. Charles isn't even expected to see full-scale work until training camp, and he has missed 27 of a possible 35 games (including postseason) in the last two seasons.

Furthermore, the Broncos haven't even had a single 1,000-yard rusher in the last three seasons -- let alone two of them -- and every indication is that their offense will be "pass-happy," as Emmanuel Sanders has noted.

Also consider the math. To have two 1,000-yard rushers, you must obviously rush for at least 2,000 yards as a team. Just four teams did that last year -- a percentage of 12.5 percent of the league, which was the lowest since the 16-game schedule was instituted in 1978.

I obviously have respect for Jamaal Charles, but do you think he will be able to take C.J.'s spot in the offense?

-- Nick Wilson

He's being brought in to serve as a complement to C.J. Anderson and provide additional depth. Given Charles' recent injuries and the plethora of options at running back, his arrival is not about taking the spot of a returning player like Anderson. Instead, it's about being part of a collective, something that Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy has used in the past.

You can take McCoy's use of his running backs with the Chargers as an example. In that season, four different running backs touched the football at least 40 times: Melvin Gordon (217 touches), Danny Woodhead (178 touches), Donald Brown (67 touches) and Branden Oliver (44 touches). Look for Charles to be part of a collaboration at running back.

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How come the Chargers Monday night game has an 8:20 kickoff? That is 10:20 on the East Coast, and seems like a very late start time for a national broadcast.**

-- Guy Clifton

Because it is the second game of the Monday night doubleheader with which ESPN has opened its Monday Night Football schedule since the 2006 seasons. The start time is why 21 of the 24 teams to play the late-night Week 1 game -- including this year's teams -- come from the Mountain or Pacific Time Zones. No Eastern Time Zone team has ever played in the second game of the MNF doubleheader because of the 10:20 p.m. EDT start time.

The season-opening MNF doubleheader helps make Week 1 a special occasion, and I hope it continues.

Is Daryl Washington a possible target for Denver?

-- David Comstock

This is one of several questions I've received about Washington. He hasn't played in three years, he has a conviction for aggravated assault on his ex-girlfriend and he missed three seasons because of violations of the league's substance-abuse policy. He says he's cleaned up his act, but I think there are too many red flags to consider him. Pass.

I don't remember the last time a rookie quarterback led his team into Super Bowl. Do you think that DeShaun Watson is capable of helping the Houston Texans to go to the Super Bowl?

-- Ahmed Chowdhury

You don't remember it because it has never happened: 51 Super Bowls, zero rookie starting quarterbacks. I don't expect that to change this season.

Since Terrell Davis is going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017, what are the chances that his jersey number 30 gets retired?

-- Tom Pham

It's not going to be retired. As is the case for Hall of Famers Gary Zimmerman and Shannon Sharpe, Davis' jersey number will remain in circulation.

Submit a question for the next Mailbag!

The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

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