After a short good-bye, Q back in Broncos blue
DENVER ” There was never much of a question that Quentin Griffin would get another chance in the NFL.
That he got it with the Denver Broncos, the same team that cut him only a few weeks ago, was the big surprise.
The Broncos signed him Tuesday and on Wednesday, he was back with the team, 18 days after he was cut, a somewhat surprising move considering he was Denver’s opening-day starting tailback the year before.
“I was surprised they wanted me back,” Griffin said. “You never know how things are going to work out. I’m glad to be back. It was tough being away.”
While he was away, he worked out with Kansas City, Indianapolis and Detroit. None, however, were the right fit.
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But when Broncos running backs Mike Anderson (ribs) and Tatum Bell (ankle) fell to less than 100 percent, leaving Ron Dayne as the only fully healthy tailback, bringing Griffin back into the fold was the obvious move for coach Mike Shanahan.
“We brought him back not only because of the situation but because we have a lot of confidence in Quentin,” Shanahan said. “He is an excellent running back and he has had some good games with us, and it is good to have him back on the team.”
After a few good performances to close the 2003 season, Griffin moved his way up the depth chart in 2004. When Anderson was lost for the year with a groin injury in the preseason, Griffin became the team’s third opening-day starter over a span of four years.
It started out well enough. Griffin set a Broncos record for a season opener, running for 156 yards in a 34-24 win over the Chiefs. Quickly, though, he fell off-kilter. In Week 2, a botched exchange between him and Jake Plummer cost the Broncos a chance at a winning field goal in a loss to Jacksonville.
A few more fumbles and an injured ankle landed Griffin behind Reuben Droughns. Then, in the seventh game, Griffin injured his knee while returning a kickoff and was lost for the season, ending a rapid descent for the 2003 fourth-round draft choice out of Oklahoma.
Recovered from his injuries, he had a decent training camp this year.
But he never rose higher than fourth on the depth chart, and because he wasn’t a special teams contributor, Shanahan cut him, thinking he’d find somewhere else to play.
Turns out, that somewhere is Denver ” again.
“It’s nice that he’s back,” Plummer said. “If he gets a chance to go out there, he’ll make sure that he will play hard. That’s the kind of player he is. He will be excited to be back here.”
Summit Daily News, Summit County, Colorado
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