Broncos notebook: New running back Latavius Murray ready for opportunity in Denver

Oct. 4—ENGLEWOOD — It's been an eventful 24 hours for new Broncos running back Latavius Murray.

On Sunday, he ran for 57 yards and a touchdown for the Saints in London. On Monday, he got a text from his agent that he was headed to Denver. And on Tuesday, he was practicing with the Broncos.

"It was an opportunity," Murray said Tuesday. "My first reaction was I knew Javonte (Williams) went down with an injury and so I just knew it was an opportunity. ... I'm just happy to be here."

Murray comes to Denver after the Broncos lost starting running back Javonte Williams to a torn ACL on Sunday. Murray was previously on the Saints' practice squad, which allowed him to sign with the Broncos this week.

A nine-year NFL veteran, Murray provides a good amount of experience to the Broncos' running back room, joining Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone. Murray has rushed for 5,549 yards and 50 touchdowns in his career.

"I've known Latavius for a while now, and he is another great pro," coach Nathaniel Hackett said. "We might have some of the biggest running backs in the league right now. Just having that guy, a guy that has done it for so long, has tons of experience, can pass pro and catch, is something that's great for our team. Also as a person, as a leader. I'm very happy that he's here."

Murray has a lot to learn in a short amount of time, but having now played for five different teams in the NFL, he's not worried about learning a new offense.

"There's some carry over with all offenses," Murray said. "I think I'll be learning as I go. For the most, I think it'll be pretty easy to get a grip on it. You just kind of find things that carry over."

Murray is expected to play a key role for the Broncos this season, with Gordon likely becoming Denver's starting running back while Murray and Boone rotate in. But with Gordon's recent fumbling issues, it wouldn't be a surprise if Murray's role increases even more as the season progresses.

As for Thursday night against the Colts, Murray could play for the Broncos. He said Tuesday "anything is possible." Either way, Murray is looking forward to his time in Denver, however long that might be.

"Right now, I'm not sure what the plan is. I'm just trying to soak everything in and learn the playbook as quick as I can," Murray said. "I heard nothing but great things about the locker room. I'm in it right now. So far everything is what I've been told and so I'm just excited to be here and to go to work and to bring another (championship) back."

Bonitto's role increasing

With veteran outside linebacker Randy Gregory placed on injured reserve, rookie Nik Bonitto will have an increased role on the Broncos defense. Bonitto has only played 16 defensive snaps this season, with one tackle. He's primarly played behind Gregory, Bradley Chubb, Baron Browning and Jonathon Cooper, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.

The Broncos are now relying on the second-round pick to step up.

"He has to be ready. It's that simple," Hackett said. "He's a young guy, and he's played in some big games in college, and we're excited to see him get out there. He's developed every week, he's gotten better and better. Even in practice, his practice habits have gotten better. As any rookie, there's a process of learning how to be a pro, a process of learning throughout everything, so it's just going to get better."

Wilson ready for Thursday

Quarterback Russell Wilson showed up on the injury report this week for the first time this season, as he deals with a sore right shoulder. Though, the expectation is still for Wilson start Thursday night. Wilson said Tuesday he's "super confident" that he will play.

"I'm doing good, hanging in there," Wilson said. "I think when you play a competitive game, you get banged up a couple of times here and there. I'm excited for Thursday night, what a special time, what an opportunity for us."

Wilson is coming off his best performance as a Bronco, totaling 237 yards and two touchdowns through the air and 29 yards and a touchdown on the ground against the Raiders.

Injury report

Did not practice: OLB Jonathon Cooper (hamstring), S P.J. Locke (concussion), OG Quinn Meinerz (hamstring), OLB Aaron Patrick (concussion)

Limited: S Caden Sterns (hip/chest), WR Tyrie Cleveland (hamstring), RB Melvin Gordon (neck), CB Darius Phillips (hamstring), OL Billy Turner (knee), QB Russell Wilson (shoulder)