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EXCLUSIVE: Broncos' C.J. Anderson understands team's decision to end his season

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Posted at 7:06 PM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 21:31:21-05

CENTENNIAL, Colo.-- C.J. Anderson knew the Broncos needed to reach the playoffs to create a path for his return. With the postseason hanging in the balance, the Broncos determined there was no reason to rush the running back from knee surgery. Coach Gary Kubiak met with Anderson on Tuesday, informing him of the club's decision.

It hurt to see the door closed, but Anderson agreed with the reasoning.

"I am 80 to 85 percent right now. And I hoped to be close to 100 percent in a few weeks. I most definitely see where they are coming from," Anderson told Denver7 in an exclusive interview Wednesday night. "I need to slow down, and make sure to do everything at the right pace. I told coach I am going to 'rip up' the league next year."

Anderson's injury on Oct. 24 against Houston coincided with the ground game's nose dive. The Broncos averaged 4.11 yards per carry with Anderson starting, and 2.9 per attempt since. Anderson's repaired meniscus is healing on schedule. He has good flexibility, and plans to begin making cuts at the end of next week. 

"It was just a freak accident. That's a cut I will make 1,000 more times with no problem," said Anderson, who finished with 410 yards on 110 carries with five touchdowns. "It's been tough not being out there to help my team because I feel like I can be a playmaker."

Anderson is considering changing his body type, playing at a slightly lower weight than the 218-225 pounds he carries during the season. He is known for his bowling ball style, racking up yards after contact. In his absence the Broncos' running backs have struggled to break tackles. Anderson's on-field vision -- he helped linemen make in-game adjustments -- and leadership have been missed. 

Kubiak spoke to Anderson on Tuesday, outlining his goals.

"I actually had a good sit down with C.J. yesterday," Kubiak said. "When you sit down with C.J., you don't talk much. You listen. I listened, and he was really good. I am excited for him and his future. We miss him. He knows that, and it's been really hard on him. C.J. is a good kid. He's excited to get back to work."

For now, Anderson can only shift his focus to the offseason and helping the Broncos rebound. 

"We have a lot of talent," Anderson said. "When you are forced to watch, it makes you miss it even more. I plan on doing my part and coming back stronger than ever."

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Want Broncos news? Denver7 Broncos insider Troy E. Renck is your source. He talks to the players, covers the games and reports scoops on Denver7 and the Denver7 app. He is a CU grad who has covered pro sports in Colorado since 1996, including 14 years at The Denver Post. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and TheDenverChannel.com’s Broncos page. Troy welcomes most of your emails at Troy.Renck@kmgh.com.