Two months after sustaining a significant quadriceps injury, Broncos running back Mike Boone appears set to make his regular-season Denver debut.
“Good," head coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday of Boone's rehab progress. "He had that quad injury that was pretty severe at the time. He’s had a good rehab, and he’s ready to go.”
Boone, signed in free agency to replace Phillip Lindsay, has been practicing for two weeks in anticipation of his return to the field. The Broncos chose not to activate him from injured reserve in Week 5, opting instead to roll with Damarea Crockett as the No. 3 RB behind Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams.
Boone — who suffered his quad injury during an Aug. 12 joint practice against the Vikings, his former team — is likely to retake the role from Crockett upon showing well in the offseason program, flashing an element of speed the club otherwise lacks at the position.
The fourth-year pro averaged 5.3 yards per carry over 40 career games in Minnesota. He's also an adept special teams contributor, and thus a potential boon for embattled coordinator Tom McMahon.
Boone's impending activation should further enhance a Broncos rushing attack that ranks 12th in the NFL. The unit totaled 106 yards, netting 5.9 YPC across just 18 attempts, in last Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh, after which Fangio decried his squad's struggles on first and second downs.
“We haven’t run the ball very well of late. That’s part of it," he said Wednesday. "Our passing game needs to be better on the early downs. We just haven’t been very efficient offensively—run and pass—on the early downs. We haven’t been able to convert to get more early downs.
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