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Broncos head coach Sean Payton said Wednesday that Perine made an early exit from practice to have his thumb evaluated, Zac Stevens of reports.

After emerging as a viable backup in Cincinnati from 2020 through 2022 -- he tallied 4.4 yards per carry and an 80.9 percent catch rate -- Perine linked up with Denver this offseason on a two-year, $7.5 million contract. In the event that Javonte Williams (knee) doesn't recover from the ACL and LCL tears by Week 1, Perine would have a prime opportunity to produce out of the Broncos backfield. First, though, Perine will need to recover from his current health concern -- which Payton downplayed -- in advance of training camp in late July.

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