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Vance Joseph Says Broncos Running Back Competition Wide Open for 2017

Broncos coach Vance Joseph said Friday for the first time that his running backs are in an open competition for the starting job, just like his quarterbacks are, the the Associated Press reports. The difference is that his primary ball carrier won’t get the vast majority of snaps.

“The running back position, you need two or three guys who can carry the load. It’s no longer a one-guy position. So, I’m excited to have Jamaal, C.J., Book, even De’Angelo in the mix there. It’s a good group. It’s going to be competitive and that’s the way it should be,” Joseph said.

The Broncos’ holdovers are C.J. Anderson, who missed the last half of last season with a torn meniscus in his right knee, and Devontae Booker, who never really hit his stride as a rookie while making his way back from two knee surgeries.

GM John Elway added De’Angelo Henderson of Coastal Carolina in the sixth round of the draft and free agent Jamaal Charles , who is coming off two injury-filled years that led to his release from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Also on the roster are fullbacks Andy Janovich and Juwan Thompson and veteran newcomer Bernard Pierce, a fifth-year veteran who has appeared in 52 regular-season games with the Ravens and Jaguars but missed last season with a torn hamstring while with the Jets.

Charles, the Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher, signed a one-year, $1 million deal with Denver for his comeback.

While Charles will vie for a featured role, the Broncos are going to take it easy with him over the summer.

“He’s been a great player for a long time in this league in our division. He’s been injured the last couple of years, so it’s our goal to get Jamaal healthy. And if he’s healthy, he’s going to provide a spark and an element of speed that we needed as far as being an explosive offense,” Joseph said prior to serving as the keynote speaker at the 19th annual John Lynch Salute The Stars awards luncheon .

“We’re hoping to get Jamaal full speed by training camp. He’s going to obviously rehab and have time to get healthy the entire OTAs and the entire summer. So, our goal for Jamaal is to have him on the field during training camp.”

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