Its been a long time since weve seen number 30 lineup in the backfield for the Denver Broncos, but this Saturday night all that will change as Terrell Davis is scheduled to make his first start of the 2001 preseason against the New Orleans Saints.
Davis, who has been hampered by injuries throughout the past two seasons, was named the starting running back by head coach Mike Shanahan on Thursday, and will play about half of Denver's offensive plays.
Wednesdays practice solidified the former NFL MVPs position, showing marked improvement in mobility and speed. How long he maintains that position, however, may be another story.
"He looked good," Shanahan said. "I wasn't sure if he'd be able to come back at full speed. But he looked close to full speed, and if there are no setbacks and he's feeling good, he should be able to go half the game."
"It's definitely going to take some baby steps, trying to get back, but they didn't build Rome in a day, so it's going to take time for me to get there, and I know that," Davis told reporters. "I know I'm going to struggle a little bit, but I have to identify the things I struggle with and try to work on those, and it shouldn't be a problem."
With two preseason games remaining, Davis appears optimistic about his return as the Broncos premier running back, although Shanahan cautiously avoided declaring Davis the starter heading into the season, reserving that decision until the coaching staff has had the opportunity to evaluate all three running backs.
"This is going to be a good test for me to go out there and to see where I stand and to gauge my performance," he said. "I know once I get into this offense and do the things that I know I can do, then it'll take care of itself."
"If something else happens, then I have to deal with that. But right now I'm back on pace and back in the lineup, so I just have to stay there."