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Sean Payton: Javonte Williams might not have to start camp on PUP

From a team with a new veteran QB to an organization under pressure to prove they consistently can be competitive, Mike Florio and Chris Simms name which teams need a fast start to the 2023 NFL season.

Last month, the Broncos didn’t know when running back Javonte Williams would be ready to go after tearing an ACL last season. On Saturday, coach Sean Payton expressed optimism that Williams could be ready for the start of training camp.

“I think there’s a good chance that -- if a player is not ready at the start of training camp, he goes to PUP,” Payton told reporters at the team’s rookie minicamp, in reference to the Physically Unable to Perform List. “We’re hopeful that he is someone that might not have to go to PUP. So that’s good news and in the meantime, the rest of these guys we’re looking at closely. I’m getting to know them.”

Payton reiterated that the Broncos believe former Bengals running back Samaje Perine can handle every down, if need be.

“We signed him because we knew he was durable and reliable,” Payton said regarding Perine. “He played on first and second down and he played quite a bit of third down, if you really look at the snaps for Cincinnati. We felt like we got another solid runner -- you guys been around him -- who’s built in a strong way. There are a lot of things he does well. When we signed him, there was still uncertainty [about Williams]. I was taught a long time ago to stack them up at that position. It’s a tough position in our league.”

The Broncos didn’t use a draft pick on a running back, and Williams and Perine remain the top two candidates on the roster.