Source: Javonte Williams expected back sooner rather than later

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos
Houston Texans v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

Heading into the 2023 off-season, one of the big concerns on the Denver Broncos roster included the RB position following the expiration of Latavius Murray's contract and unfortunate torn ACL suffered by Javonte Williams in Week 4 of the 2022 season against the Las Vegas Raiders. Therefore, heading into free agency there was several questions looming around the status of Williams' knee and the depth at the RB position thus resulting in Denver reaching an agreement with former Bengals RB Samaje Perine on a 2-year, $7.5M contract.

Prior to this free agent signing, Matthew Berry who covers the NFL for NBC Sports, had this to say about RB Javonte Williams:

"...there is actually a chance he misses all of next year. I was told he is currently a lot more hurt than the team is letting on publicly and that the Broncos are secretly nervous."

Berry on health status of Williams

While some may believe there is a sliver of validity to this claim, I can say with full confidence that this is false. Berry even went on to say "Latavius Murray is expected to be back and be in the 'Mark Ingram' role for Sean Payton." Fast forward two months later and Murray has signed a 1-year contract with the Buffalo Bills, per Adam Schefter.

Shortly after these claims from Matthew Berry, a source close to Javonte Williams informed me that he had met with Williams in person and expressed how he was in "high spirits". Source even revealed that Williams told him "not to believe what the news is saying, said he'll be back Week 1." Obviously, Williams' official return will not be up to him but will be decided upon by the new coaching staff however, still fantastic news for Broncos fans and NFL fantasy owners who hope to see a healthy Javonte Williams come September.

This news doesn't necessarily mean Williams will be back at full force starting for the Broncos Week 1, but more-so in a condensed role with less snaps as opposed to a heavy workload. From everything I am hearing, Williams is very confident in the progress he is making in rehab and is making great strides towards a return.

George Paton even stated in late February of this year that Javonte Williams is "on track to be ready for week 1" and "will be 100%." The front office has made it very clear early on they are confident Williams will be ready for the start of the 2023 season and even showed it in the 2023 NFL Draft by not selecting a RB, which I found to be very telling.

Everyone is attempting to paint this image that the Broncos need to add another RB because Williams "will not be able to handle the workload with his injury", but at the end of the day, the team signed Samaje Perine for a reason. And I wouldn't even argue the Broncos signed Perine to give Williams more "comfortable recovery time", but because they simply needed more talent and skill at that position after the disaster Melvin Gordon was for the team in 2022.

What is certain, is that Denver needs clarity at the 3rd string spot at the RB position and perhaps two of the new undrafted free agent signings in Emanuel Wilson (Fort Valley State) and Jaleel McLaughlin (Youngstown State) could make a case for the job in training camp and preseason along with former XFL RB Jacques Patrick who received a rookie minicamp invite from the Broncos.

Considering the uplifting and positive outlook from the Denver Broncos front office, it most certainly appears Javonte Williams will be making a remarkable recovery in 2023 and is set to prove his doubters wrong earlier in the season than originally predicted.

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