Quinton Carter returns from injuries

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).

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton on Twitter:

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

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