There’s been a lot of ambiguity surrounding the projected timeline for Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams return coming off of an ACL injury.

During Saturday’s rookie minicamp, Broncos head coach Sean Payton provided a promising timeline — Williams will be ready to go for the start of training camp.

After suffering a major knee injury in the Broncos’ Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, Williams underwent reconstructive surgery on his ACL while also dealing with injuries to his LCL (lateral collateral ligament) amongst other areas of the posterior of the knee.

Because of the injury and long rehabilitation process, the uncertainty regarding his initial timeline to be ready ranged from the start of training camp to possibly missing the first half of the season.

Payton has expectations that he’ll be ready to go when the Broncos report for training camp and he is hopeful that Williams won’t have to start on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list.

Denver’s front office took the necessary steps this offseason to build a contingency plan around the event he wasn’t ready to return — signing Samaje Perine in NFL Free Agency.

“I think we’ve got a few here that we’re looking at during this camp,” Payton said regarding the number of backs on the roster. “I feel really good about our group of veterans that are here in the building. When we signed [RB] Samaje [Perine], this is a guy that gave us flexibility. We know that he can play and be an every-down back. Our current starter [RB Javonte Williams] is doing extremely well. I would tell you that we expect him to be ready for the start of training camp and that’s good news. His rehab is going well. I don’t want to speak for him or [Vice President of Player Health & Performance] Beau [Lowery] or anyone else, but we get the daily reports. We’re pretty tight-lipped relative to information going out, but I’ve read a lot and I think his rehab is going well.”

If Williams is unable to go, there is a chance he ends up starting on the PUP list.

“I think there’s a good chance that—if a player is not ready at the start of training camp, he goes to ‘PUP,’ Payton acknowledged. “We’re hopeful that he is someone that might not have to go to ‘PUP.’ So that’s good news and in the meantime, the rest of these guys we’re looking at closely. I’m getting to know them.”

The good news is that there is plenty of time between now and the start of camp for Javonte to continue to make progress in his recovery — giving him the best chance to be ready for when the team needs him.

Other running backs on the roster include Perine, Tony Jones Jr., Tyler Badie who participated during Saturday’s minicamp, and Damarea Crockett. College free agents Jaleel McLaughlin (Youngstown State) and Emanuel Wilson (Fort Valley State) will also be in the mix during training camp in July.

The Denver Broncos will be back on the field for the start of regular minicamp on May 23-25 in Dove Valley.