FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Running back Montee Ball, who went from 2013 second-round draft choice of the Denver Broncos to spending most of the 2015 season out of football, has resurfaced on the New England Patriots practice squad and he's happy for the fresh start.
"It was shocking when the Broncos let me go, but I believe everything happens for a reason," Ball said Thursday, two days after he joined the Patriots. "Given the opportunities I was given there in Denver, I can only look back on them and get better from them and move on. I think it's time to move on, and being a Patriot, you cannot complain at all."
Ball adds depth for the Patriots, who placed top power running back LeGarrette Blount on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday (hip) and currently have just two healthy running backs on their 53-man roster: Brandon Bolden and James White.
In Denver, Ball dropped from No. 2 on the depth chart to No. 4 in the final weeks of the preseason. After making the Broncos' initial 53-man roster, he was waived by the team the next day to make room for two players claimed from other teams.
"It looked promising for me leading through the beginning of camp, but it's something they felt like they needed to move on, trusting their other players," said Ball, who had rushed for 68 yards on 32 carries in the preseason. "It's part of the game. You can't play the 'woe is me' card."
As a rookie in 2013, Ball played in every game with the Broncos as a backup to Knowshon Moreno. He totaled 120 carries for 559 yards and four touchdowns, while adding 20 receptions for 145 yards.
In 2014, he opened the season as the team's starter but ultimately appeared in just five games as a groin injury sidelined him, as he finished with 55 rushes for 172 yards and one touchdown.
Ball, who is listed as 215 pounds but appears to be heavier than that, knows he can't be choosy when it comes to his role in New England.
"Wherever they want me, wherever they need me; I'm not in a position anymore to where I can say where I want to do, or what I want to do, or where I want to be," he said. "It's wherever they want to put me. Whenever my number is called, I'm going to do what I can."
Ball added that it's helped him to have his former Wisconsin teammate and roommate White to aid in the transition to New England. White was a 2014 fourth-round draft choice of the Patriots and is the team's primary "sub back" after Dion Lewis suffered a torn ACL on Nov. 8.
One positive for Ball is that he doesn't have the wear and tear other running backs might have at this time of year.
"Fresh legs right now, especially coming in this late in the season," he said. "[Coach Bill] Belichick, he knows what he's doing, he knows what I'm capable of doing. So I'm going to show them what I can do."