Knowshon Moreno’s return from a knee injury that forced him out of Denver’s Divisional Round playoff game against Baltimore last year took another step on Monday as the running back participated in team drills for the first time this offseason.
“Each week, you just want to progress and do more and more each week,” said Moreno, who had been participating in individual and seven-on-seven drills. “I knew coming into this week that I’d be doing more. I didn’t know what I’d be doing more, but I just knew I’d be going in there more and getting a couple more reps. It felt good.”
After playing in Denver’s first two games of the season, Moreno was inactive for the next eight games before returning to the starting lineup following Willis McGahee’s season-ending injury. He finished the year as the team’s starter, opening the final six games of the season and totaling 138 carries for 525 yards and four touchdowns.
Recovering from a season-ending injury is something that Moreno has unfortunately grown accustomed to, as a knee injury also ended his 2011 campaign prematurely.
“I was pretty healthy last year through the whole thing, but that’s part of the game,” Moreno said. “It’s the nature of the game. You’re going to get hurt. Things happen, you don’t want to see it happen, but it does. It’s just how you bounce back from those things.”
Moreno, who said he was going at 100-percent speed during Monday’s practice, is entering his fifth NFL season in 2013. For his career he has rushed 604 times for 2,430 yards with 16 touchdowns to go with 97 catches for 853 yards and six receiving score.
Missing the beginning of offseason team activities was frustrating for Moreno, but his experience with injuries has shown him the importance of not rushing back too early.
“You want to be out there competing and getting better, but my kind of thing was just taking my time with it, being smart, and each week just progressing,” Moreno said. “I feel good. I’ve been feeling good. Just getting back into football shape and doing running and cutting and those things, it feels good.”