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Broncos’ Quinton Carter ready to go after two years on IR

Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Denver Broncos

Quinton Carter #28 of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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Twenty months after microfracture knee surgery, Broncos safety Quinton Carter says he’s finally ready to go.

As a rookie in 2011, Carter earned a starting job and played well, and Denver had high hopes for him going forward. But in 2012 Carter suffered a knee injury during offseason practice, requiring an arthroscopic procedure. Carter tried to return at the start of the regular season, but he wasn’t fully healed, and by October the doctors were telling him he needed the more serious microfracture procedure. That caused Carter to miss not just the rest of the 2012 season, but all of 2013 as well.

But now Carter is finally healthy and participating in the Broncos’ offseason program, and he says he feels ready to go.

“It feels like a long time in one sense,” Carter told Mike Klis of the Denver Post. “But it also feels like riding a bike. You get back out there, you get used to it, and sooner or later, it’s exactly how it was.”

Carter, who had interceptions off both Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady in the playoffs after his rookie year, sounds relieved that he’s getting another chance at building his career.

I’ve been out for two years,” he told the Associated Press. “Man, it seems like an eternity since I’ve played. So, I mean, I’m ecstatic to be out here. I sit out here and just take it all in.”

Carter has been gone a long time and is no lock to make the roster, but if he can get back to speed and play the way he did as a rookie, he could be a significant part of Denver’s defense. It’s been a long time, but Carter is finally ready.