Broncos sign Ridley as Booker needs surgery

ENGLEWOOD - Bronco bosses didn’t have to bother downplaying their concern about running back Devontae Booker’s unexpected wrist injury that will require surgery Friday.

The truth was in the stroll the Broncos brass took with free agent running back Stevan Ridley to the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse following practice Thursday.

With Booker’s surgery to keep him out six weeks, the Broncos came away satisfied enough with Ridley’s contract to sign the former New England Patriots running back, a league source told 9NEWS.

Booker’s surgery will likely cause him to miss the regular-season opener Sept. 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers and possibly Game 2 against the Dallas Cowboys.

“Booker had a wrist injury late in OTAs,’’ Joseph said. “It was a small injury; it was a little sore but it wasn’t serious. He went away for the summer and had trouble bench pressing. It was really sore when he braced the bar. He was doing his camp physical on Wednesday and he was still a little sore, nothing serious but we X-Ray’d it and it was a wrist fracture. It’s obviously been there for a couple of months. We didn’t know and he didn’t know so we X-Ray’d it and it needs surgery.’’

After his media obligations, Joseph went to the fieldhouse to watch Ridley work out, along with Broncos’ director of player personnel Matt Russell, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and running backs Eric Studesville, among others.

Ridley was a Fantasy League sensation in 2012 when he came out of nowhere to rush for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns for the New England Patriots.

Fumbles got him in coach Bill Belichick’s doghouse in 2013, when he rushed for 773 yards and seven touchdowns.

Ridley played sparingly for the Patriots in 2014, the New York Jets in 2015 and Atlanta Falcons last year.

But the Broncos need running back depth with Booker sidelined and veteran Jamaal Charles not participating in team practices for another week.

With Booker and Charles watching the Broncos’ first training camp practice from the side Thursday, C.J. Anderson got virtually every first-team rep at running back while Juwan Thompson was his back up.

Bronco Bits

Clarification. With rookie quarterback Chad Kelly on non-football injury (NFI) list, he is out six weeks at minimum. It’s the physically unable to perform (PUP) list where a player can return at any time during training camp – as is the case with Broncos’ defensive tackle Kyle Peko.

Kelly thus will not be able to take snaps in the Broncos’ final preseason game against Arizona on Aug. 31. Kelly, in fact, will start the regular season on NFI.

Because starters never play in preseason game No. 4, Kyle Sloter, an undrafted rookie from Northern Colorado, is currently penciled in to take substantial snaps against the Cardinals. …

The Broncos will practice in pads for the first time Sunday. …

Joseph said every player who took the pre-camp conditioning test Wednesday passed it. Non-linemen had to run 10, 40-yard sprints in a certain time. Offensive and defensive linemen had had to run 10, 20-yard sprints. …

The Broncos drew an opening day crowd of 3,792, a little larger than last year’s Day 1 crowd.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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