Anderson (knee) is down to 223 pounds with about five pounds left to lose, Anderson said on Twitter.
"Stout," as Cosmo Kramer would say, Anderson's stocky physique seldom got in the way of big-time plays early in his career, as evidenced by his 48-yard game-winner against New England in 2015 and his 51-yard catch-and-run in Oakland in 2014. Last season, however, Anderson lacked that explosiveness during an injury-shortened season. Anderson averaged a play of 20 or more yards just once ever 42 touches in 2016 as compared to once every 25 touches in 2015 and once every 19 touches in 2014. Head coach Vance Joseph emphasized finding players who can take the ball from the line of scrimmage to the house during his press conference on Monday, and perhaps a few less pounds can give Anderson's elusiveness a boost and prevent the kind of injuries that have sidelined him in 2015 and 2016. If not, Denver has already notably met with a number of early and mid-round running back options for the upcoming draft.
Anderson's 2016 campaign ended after he suffered a torn right meniscus in Week 7. After undergoing surgery to repair that injury in late October, Anderson has been running at full speed for over two months. With Joseph revealing the tailback has since been cleared for Denver's offseason program, any injury concerns over Anderson should be hushed, which is great news for him ahead of this season. With the addition of offensive linemen Ronald Leary and Menelik Watson, as well as the return of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, a fully healthy Anderson could enjoy more room to run this term, and remains projected as the team's starter after Devonte Booker failed to take advantage of his absence last year.
Anderson is on the mend from October surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee. While he's known to be back running and working out, it appears he still hasn't been cleared to resume football-related activities. However, even if he doesn't participate in the early goings of the Broncos' training program, which starts April 10, Anderson is an All-Pro veteran running back who won't necessarily suffer from missing out on offseason practice reps as a younger, less experienced player would. All in all, it simply appears that Denver is prepared to take every precaution in order to make sure its starting running back enters the 2017 campaign at full health.
The Broncos have committed nearly $24 million in guarantees to free agent offensive linemen Ronald Leary and Menelik Watson, 9News Denver reports. The duo could both wind up paving rushing lanes for Anderson this season.
Much, perhaps too much, has been made of Denver moving away from Gary Kubiak's zone blocking scheme this season and new head coach Vance Joseph saying on multiple occasions that the team will mix gap and zone schemes. The real issue last season was mediocre talent along the offensive line, with Denver's line ranking as the sixth worst in the NFL in terms of yards before contact, according to Pro Football Focus. Leary, who played left guard in Dallas, should join the Broncos' top linemen from last season per Pro Football Focus, center Matt Paradis and guard Max Garcia, to form a quality interior line. Expect Watson, whose athleticism got him drafted in the second round in 2013, to compete in the wide-open competitions at both left and right tackle provided his injury woes don't follow him from Oakland. With further upgrades likely coming in the draft, look for Denver's line to give Anderson more room to work with in 2017.
Anderson went under the knife in late October to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. Although he's now able to run without any problems, he's yet to resume cutting, the very movement that caused his injury in the first place. However, he doesn't seem to think that will be a problem, as Anderson believes he'll be cleared to resume all football-related activities within the month. If the running back is to be believed, that timeline would leave him plenty of time to get back into shape before offseason workouts start up in April.
|3||9/24/17||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 5|
|7||10/22/17||@ LAC||4:25 pm|
|8||10/30/17||@ KC||8:30 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|12||11/26/17||@ OAK||4:25 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|15||12/14/17||@ IND||8:25 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|