Charles is still in the process of recovering from a knee injury that caused his career with the Kansas City Chiefs to come to an end. The Broncos got their first live look at the former Texas Longhorns star on Wednesday, and it was clear that he still possesses a lot of the same qualities that made him great in Kansas City.
However, Charles still has a lot to prove in order to make Denver’s final roster.
After Thursday morning’s practice, Broncos coach Vance Joseph was asked what Charles has to show in camp to make the team.
“We’re pacing him, but we want to see him obviously get back to somewhat close to what he was so we can make a decision there, absolutely. But we also need to pace him for the season. We have to decide [what’s best] for our football team, but also not burn him if he is there for the season.”
It would be foolish to believe that Charles can still be a workhorse back at this point in his career. But if he can prove that he is healthy, the 2013 NFL rushing touchdowns leader will help the Broncos offense immensely in 2017. Joseph agrees.
“If we can get 10-12 specialty plays a game for Jamaal, screens, and wheel routes, and outside runs, that’s going to make us a better football team,” the first-year coach said Thursday.
C.J. Anderson will be the team’s starter, that’s a given. But Charles is facing stiff competition from a trio of unlikely players to back up Anderson. Rookie sixth-round pick De’Angelo Henderson has been one of the stars of camp; veteran Stevan Ridley, who was signed after Devontae Booker went down, looks like the player he was with the New England Patriots; and three-year NFL veteran Juwan Thompson has been turning heads as well.