ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos are closing in on a decision that would make their backfield more crowded.
Running back Devontae Booker, who was poised to work with the starters when training camp opened until surgery to repair a fracture in his wrist sidelined him in the preseason, is nearing a return to the lineup. Booker has practiced, at least on a limited basis, since the start of the regular season, but has not played in any of the Broncos’ first three games.
“Booker had a great week; he’s gotten better each day," Broncos coach Vance Joseph said after Friday’s practice. “We’ll see on Sunday."
The Broncos’ plan has always been for Booker to be among a group of running backs sharing the workload alongside C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles and rookie De’Angelo Henderson. But Booker has been a game-day inactive in each of Denver's three games.
So if Booker is activated Sunday against the Oakland Raiders or after next week's bye, it would mean a player who has been in uniform for the opening three weeks will not be.
“To bring Book up, it will have a chain reaction as far as special teams and halfback reps," Joseph said.
To this point, Anderson and Charles have split most of the carries, having taken 81 of the team’s 98 rushing attempts. Quarterback Trevor Siemian has 14 carries on scrambles while Henderson, wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie and fullback Andy Janovich each have one rushing attempt.
The Broncos entered the week No. 3 in the league in rushing at 143 yards per game, so they do like how things have gone. But they also believe Booker is a quality receiver who could help them in certain personnel groupings. Booker led the Broncos in rushing last season with 612 yards.
The Broncos will have a practice Saturday morning, when they will take another look at players with injury questions. That includes wide receiver Cody Latimer, who is a special-teams regular. Latimer was held out of Thursday’s practice with a sore knee but took part in Friday’s walk-through.
Latimer is formally listed as questionable for the game. Joseph also said after Friday's practice that cornerback Bradley Roby (ankle), who was held out of practice on Wednesday and then took part on a limited basis Thursday, would play against the Raiders.