ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos promoted running back Juwan Thompson from their practice squad on Saturday to take the roster spot of C.J. Anderson, who was placed on injured reserve.
Anderson underwent surgery Thursday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and is hoping to return for the playoffs.
Rookie Devontae Booker will make his first start Sunday when the Broncos (5-2) host the San Diego Chargers (3-4), who beat them 21-13 less than three weeks ago. Kapri Bibbs will back him up.
The Broncos ran for 190 yards against the Texans on Monday night and were feeling good about their suddenly surging ground game until Tuesday afternoon when Anderson showed up with a sore right knee.
Booker and Bibbs insist they can maintain their 1-2 punch in the backfield without Anderson, who ran for a season-best 107 yards in Denver's 27-9 win over Houston.
In Thompson, the Broncos have added an experienced and versatile back.
Thompson made the roster each of the last two seasons and has played in 30 career games, mainly on special teams. He was the odd man out when rookie fullback Andy Janovich made the team this summer, and he signed on to Denver's practice squad awaiting just this opportunity.
"The thing about Juwan is he kind of plays two spots," coach Gary Kubiak said. "Through his history he's played some halfback and he's played well. We've been having him work at fullback, so obviously he's been working really, really hard here."
Anderson, who got a four-year, $18 million contract after rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl 50, leads the Broncos with 437 yards and four touchdowns. He'll be out a minimum of eight weeks.
Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton