While Payton was talking to the Denver media after practice, he gave some positive news surrounding running back Javonte Williams.
“We expect him to be ready for the start of training camp and that’s good news.” Payton continued, “His rehab is going well.”
If Williams is not ready for the start of training camp, he would have to the PUP list.
“We’re hopeful that he’s someone that might not have to go to PUP.”
Williams missed nearly the entire 2022 season after he suffered a torn ACL, LCL, and PLC in his knee during Denver’s Week 4 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.
This ended his second NFL season with just 204 rushing yards and 76 receiving and zero touchdowns.
As a rookie, Williams proved that he could be the starting running back for the Broncos moving forward. The former North Carolina Tar Heel rushed for 903 yards and scored four touchdowns while ranking atop the NFL in broken tackles.
Russell Wilson Needs a Rushing Attack to be Successful
In his first season as quarterback of the Broncos, Russell Wilson had one of the worst seasons of his career.
Wilson had career lows in completion percentage, total QBR, yards per drop back, and touchdown-interception ratio.
When talking to ESPN’s morning radio show, “Keyshawn, JayWill, and Max,” Payton broke down the formula to fixing Wilson in the upcoming season.
“Two allies for quarterback play, a good defense and a good running game. It takes the pressure off.”
Payton continued explaining that on offense you have to keep the defense off balance.
“If we looked at their Seattle formula, they played good defense. The running game wasn’t always as good year to year, but they were committed to the running game with him and then you got all of the movement throws, you got all of the things he did.”
In the final 12 games, Murray led the team in rushing with 703 yards and five touchdowns.
Last season, Denver finished 21st in rushing yards per game with 113.8.
Payton Loves Denver’s Free Agent RB
In the offseason, the Broncos need to add more depth to their running back room, so they went out and added former Cincinnati Bengal Samaje Perine to a two-year deal.
“When we signed Semaje, this is a guy that gave us flexibility. We know that he can play and be an every down back,” Payton said.
Last season, Perine was the Bengals’ No. 2 running back behind Joe Mixon. Rushing for 394 yards on 95 carries, Perine averaged 4.1 yards per carry.
“We signed him because we knew he was durable, reliable, he played on first and second down. He played quite a bit of third down if you really look at the snaps for Cincinnati. We felt like we got another solid runner who’s built in a strong way.”
Perine has been healthy over the past three seasons by missing only one game for the Bengals.