ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The pain and uncertainty gripped him.
Two days after Javonte Williams underwent ACL surgery on his right knee in Dallas last October, doubt crept in for the first time in his storied athletic career.
"I was in bed, and I couldn't move my knee at all. I was just sitting there staring at the ceiling and asking God, 'Please help me,'" Williams told Denver7 last season.
Leaning on faith, family and diligence in rehab at the team facility, Williams finds himself rewarded. As he predicted, Williams avoided the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, leaving him eligible to participate from the beginning of training camp. Veterans report Wednesday and the first open practice for fans is Friday.
Williams said he was "ready to go," during his football camp two weeks ago. And while his reps and activity will be monitored — he is less than 11 months removed from the operation — Williams insisted he will not "run timid or scared" when he returns.
"I can't wait to see him out there. I am excited for him," All-Pro cornerback Pat Surtain II said.
Receiver Tim Patrick was cleared after a knee injury, and JL Skinner got the go ahead as well. Williams boasts 1,107 yards rushing on 250 carries in 21 career games in his first two seasons.
Linebacker Baron Browning and receiver Kendall Hinton landed on the PUP list on Sunday for knee injuries. Browning is expected to miss time during the regular season. Hinton, whose knee scope was first reported by Denver7 on June 28, believes he will be ready to practice sooner, rather than later. Browning and Hinton are eligible to return to practice at any time during camp, though Browning is not expected back this summer.
Receiver K.J. Hamler and tackle Mike Purcell were placed on the Non-Football Injury list to designate that they were hurt in a non-team activity. Hamler told Denver7 he injured his pectoral muscle bench pressing, a day after he lifted 275 pounds. Purcell's injury has not been made public. Hamler and Purcell are eligible to return during camp. Players who begin the season on the PUP or NFI list are required to sit out the season's first four games.
All four players — Hinton, Browning, Hamler and Purcell — count against the team's 90-man camp roster.
Hamler and Hinton, both of whom have shown potential the past few seasons, will be fighting to make the final roster in a crowded receiver's room that includes contenders Brandon Johnson, Marvin Mims Jr., Marquez Callaway, Lil' Jordan Humphrey and Jalen Virgil.