It’s been a long journey for Stevan Ridley to earn a roster spot with the Denver Broncos.
The seventh-year pro landed in Denver after a flight from New Orleans, which he needed to drive from Mississippi to catch.
“I was actually in Mississippi heading to mom and dad’s house, waiting for mom to get off of work. She got off work and I told her the news so she was a little bit excited, to say the least,” Ridley said Thursday after the Broncos evening walk-through at UCHealth Training Center.
“After that, I hit the highway and had to drive down to New Orleans, hop on a plane and get up here as soon as I could.”
The urgency comes after the Broncos found out that second-year running back Devontae Booker would require surgery after fracturing a wrist and would likely miss at least six weeks.
Head coach Vance Joseph said on Wednesday, on the eve of training camp, that he expected Booker to push C.J. Anderson for first team reps this season after battling through a knee issue in his rookie year.
“I feel bad for Booker because he’s put so much work in and he’s ready to make a push,” Joseph said Thursday morning. “He had a great spring, but outside of that nothing changes for us.”
Cue Ridley, who said hoped to add some “stability” to the Broncos running backs group, with both Anderson and Jamaal Charles coming off 2016 campaigns hampered by knee injuries.
“I don’t really care what my role is. They’ve got some talented guys in there and for me to come in and say that I can do one certain thing, I can’t say that,” Ridley said. “All I’m trying to do is come in and find a role.”
Ridley is no stranger to knee issues, having torn his ACL in 2014, an injury Fan Broncos Insider Cecil Lammey said the running back hasn’t truly recovered from.
Stevan Ridley hasn’t been the same RB since tearing his ACL in 2014. As an LSU honk I hope there’s something there but doubtful @1043TheFan
— Cecil Lammey (@CecilLammey) July 28, 2017
A third-round pick out of LSU in the 2011 NFL Draft, Ridley played for the New England Patriots from 2011-2014.
Since then, however, Ridley’s spent short stints with the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, and Atlanta Falcons.
Ridley has 688 career carries for 2,914 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and 22 touchdowns. He’s made 26 starts in 61 games but just one since his knee injury in 2014.
To make room for Ridley on the roster, the Broncos waived guard Chris Muller.
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
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