LenDale White has Achilles tear

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos' tailback turnstile keeps on spinning.

LenDale White is out for the season after rupturing his Achilles' tendon Thursday night at Minnesota.

White will undergo surgery on Tuesday, said Chris Brantley, who represents the fifth-year running back who spent his first four seasons in Tennessee and joined the Broncos last month as a free agent.

"He's disappointed, of course, because he put so much time and effort into getting back on the field and getting another opportunity to play the game he loves," Brantley told The Associated Press on Friday. "But he's been very positive and will get through this fine."

Brantley said White is confident he can return to the NFL next season: "Of course. LenDale is a very focused individual and he has his mindset on coming back and finishing the business he started."

White, trying to revive his career with his hometown team after a fallout in Tennessee and a short stay in Seattle, was injured in the second quarter of Denver's 31-24 exhibition loss to the Vikings.

White was signed after Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) and Correll Buckhalter (back) got hurt in camp last month. He had been released this spring by Seattle, where Pete Carroll, who coached him at USC, is now coach.

Although he sprained an ankle two days after his arrival in Denver, White had come back strong. He scored twice in the preseason, including a 2-yard run Thursday night against the Vikings before he got hurt on a 9-yard run in the second quarter.

The Broncos were hoping it was just another ankle injury that could heal in September -- White was already scheduled to sit out the first four games of the regular season, his punishment for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

White said after the game Thursday night that he expected to be back by the time his suspension was over.

"It's not serious at all," White said of his injury. "I definitely have at least four weeks to get better, so I'm looking at that as a positive."

Now he faces an arduous recovery, and there's no guarantee he'll ever get back on the football field. Many a running back has seen his career ended by a ruptured Achilles' tendon.

The Broncos could bring back Justin Fargas, whom they released last week, or scour the waiver wire Saturday when teams must trim rosters to 53 players. With Denver's top three tailbacks sidelined for much of last month, Lance Ball capitalized on his carries to seemingly nail down a roster spot.

Although Buckhalter returned to action this week, Moreno's first competitive carry this year won't come until the Broncos' opener at Jacksonville on Sept. 12.

White said last week he was thankful for the chance to play for his hometown team because he felt his support network of family and friends could help him get his NFL career back on track.