Pittman carves out niche

When Michael Pittman was just hoping at the end of the preseason to make the Denver Broncos' final roster, he couldn't have imagined the role he has carved out with the team.

Pittman started the season as the team's goal-line back and scored a pair of touchdowns in the season opener. He was given some additional playing time in passing situations and has gotten a few more plays in regular situations as the season has progressed.

"His role expands each and every week for us," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "He started off with just third downs and goal lines and now he is coming in a little bit more."

Pittman impressed the coaches with his willingness to do anything they asked, and how well he handled different situations.

"I accepted my role and my role has changed every single week," Pittman said. "I'm proud to be part of this team."

Pittman will face his former team, Tampa Bay, on Sunday. He had nothing bad to say about the Buccaneers, who decided not to re-sign him in the offseason.

"Things happen for a reason," Pittman said. "There's a reason why I left Tampa and there's a reason why I am here in Denver."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--DT Dewayne Robertson practiced for the second straight day on Thursday and should be ready to play this week. He was inactive last week because of a knee injury.

--DE John Engelberger returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday. He is dealing with a knee injury but has a chance to play against Tampa Bay.

--RB Andre Hall has not been limited at all in practice this week. The Broncos have a lot of confidence in third tailback Michael Pittman if Hall's role is limited at all this week.

--WR Darrell Jackson remained a limited participant in practice because of a calf injury. Because he doesn't play special teams, he could be inactive again Sunday.

--CB Champ Bailey has one interception in four games. That is the only interception this season for the Broncos, who need to create more turnovers.



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