Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball has dropped five pounds after an appendectomy and was expected to make his return to the practice field this week, and he has indeed made his return today after visiting a doctor yesterday in order to receive clearance. Ball has received it, as ESPN NFL Nation’s Jeff Legwold reports that Ball is back and was spotted stretching with his teammates.
The Broncos are only running individual drills today, so Ball is getting eased back in before getting ready for team drills. He went under the knife a couple of weeks ago, so everything has gone smoothly for him. Ball has immense upside in the Broncos offense with all the attention focused on the wide receivers and tight ends, and he’ll have a golden opportunity to be Peyton Manning’s checkdown option out of the backfield after flashing underrated pass-catching ability as a rookie with 2o receptions for 145 yards. Ball is getting even better as a pass-catcher, so he is a threat for 50 receptions and will end up averaging more yards per reception than the 7.3 he averaged last year.
It will be interesting to see how much work Ball gets in for the opener, but he’s obviously locked in for Week 1. The first step will be seeing how soon Ball is involved in team drills, but he’s on the right track and was never expected to have any issues anyway. It’s always good to hear confirmation when it’s positive, and we’re all itching to see what the former Wisconsin star can do as the Broncos lead back. In fact, he’s the only RB in Denver with a settled role, as the other spots on the depth chart are still open to competition.