NFL

Quinton Carter returns from injuries

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP)

The Denver Broncos' beleaguered defense got a boost Monday with the return of safety Quinton Carter, cornerback Tracy Porter and rookie linebacker Danny Trevathan.

Trevathan (ankle) had been out since Aug. 9, Porter (illness) since Aug. 14 and Carter since July 27, when he popped his right hamstring, which led doctors to discover he needed arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

''It's kind of tough on you every day watching film and watching everybody else go at it and not being able to be a part of that,'' Carter said. ''But it felt pretty good.''

The second-year safety said he hurt his left knee in a game against New England on Dec. 18 but even though it grew more and more painful, MRIs hid the injury until last month when he pulled his hamstring inside the team's practice bubble.

''It's feeling wonderful,'' Carter said. ''It's feeling better than it did at the end of last season. So, I'm pretty excited about that.''

He said his hamstring felt good, too.

''I haven't been out there working and cutting full-speed so today is really the first day I got some change of direction and whatnot, at a different level of speed,'' he said.

Carter finished last season as the starter after supplanting fellow rookie Rahim Moore at midseason, but now he has lots of catching up to do if he's going to regain his starting job in Denver's star-studded secondary.

''I'm not even on the depth chart in my eyes right now,'' Carter said. ''That's where I'm at. My mentality, I'm at the bottom, so I've got to work from there and try to get back to where I left off last season.''

Carter said he hopes to play Sunday when the Broncos (No. 10 in the AP Pro32) host San Francisco (No. 4).

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Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Tagged: Broncos, Quinton Carter

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