Stevan Ridley really impressing at Denver Broncos camp

ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 12: Stevan Ridley
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 12: Stevan Ridley /
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The Denver Broncos are in the midst of a full-blown competition at the running back position. Stevan Ridley is going to make it tough to let him go…

Stevan Ridley was in Subway when he got the call from the Denver Broncos.

When he worked out for the team, he was running on fumes with barely any sleep.

Ridley was signed and in uniform in a hurry when the Broncos learned of the length of time running back Devontae Booker would miss near the beginning of camp, and the former 1,200 yard rusher for the New England Patriots has hit a new stride in Denver.

I don’t know what the Broncos’ expectations were from Ridley, but when I saw him at training camp, he was making great cuts, exploding through the line of scrimmage, and proving he’s still capable of helping an NFL team despite some injuries forcing him to become somewhat of a journeyman the last couple of years.

Ridley had some fumbling issues in New England, and when he got hurt there, it wasn’t long before he was completely off the roster.

The Patriots certainly weren’t impatient with Ridley, who spent two seasons trying to get things right with the team that drafted him before he was eventually let go. Since his excellent 2012 season, Ridley has played in just 30 games in four seasons.

Now healthy, Ridley is making an impression on the Broncos’ coaching staff, and head coach Vance Joseph said he’s not at all surprised by the type of performance he’s seen in practices:

"“He’s healthy. I’m not surprised that he’s shown the ability to be a real player. He rushed for 1,200 yards on his own. We only have two guys in the room that have really done that. That’s Ridley and Jamaal. I’m not surprised that he’s playing well. He’s a veteran player. He’s been with the Patriots and that’s their standard. He knows what it looks like as far as work ethic and being engaged every day. I’m not surprised at all.”Vance Joseph (quotes via Broncos PR)"

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Ridley has done well enough, that when C.J. Anderson needs a spell, he’s been getting first-team reps with the Broncos. He’s passing by players on the depth chart, and some feel like he may even have a better shot at making the team than Jamaal Charles with how strong his camp has been.

The Broncos are in a unique situation with Ridley having this type of performance, in that they now have six or seven players that will be on NFL rosters this year in some capacity or another, including fullback Andy Janovich, at their running back spot.

That will make for a very tough decision when the time comes, but lucky for the Broncos, they have four weeks to make it.

Ridley is certainly doing all he can to make an impact, and take advantage of the opportunity he’s been given.