Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson will open training camp as the starter over Montee Ball.
ESPN reports Anderson has taken the majority of snaps with the starting group as Denver's off-season activities draw to a close. An undrafted free agent in 2013, Anderson worked his way into the picture in the backfield last season after Ball and Ronnie Hillman suffered injuries. He finished with 849 yards on the ground (648 in the final six games) and eight touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. He made the Pro Bowl as a replacement for the injured Le'Veon Bell.
Also vying for the job is Ball, Denver's 2013 second-round pick who played only five games last season before being placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. New Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak discussed where things stand in his backfield on Monday.
“Obviously C.J., that’s in a lot of ways his spot to hang on to,” Kubiak said, according to ESPN. “I think that Montee has had a great offseason. I think Ronnie [Hillman] has had a really good offseason. I think it's very competitive. You never know about the backs until you put the pads on. I think C.J. has worked extremely hard. Coming off of last year he deserves that opportunity and I think he's getting ready for that opportunity. But he knows he’s being pushed very hard.”
According to ESPN, Ball has discussed a “1A-1B” type rotation at running back, with he and Anderson sharing the workload. Ball also spoke about the situation Monday.
“No question, I've said I know with what C.J. did last year, you can't keep him on the bench,” Ball said. “But I'm going to do everything I can to get back into that No. 1 spot, where I was last year. However, we do it, we'll work hard and get it done, that's the kind of group we have at running back. But if you're asking me if I can get that No. 1 job back, I think I can.”
- Jeremy Woo