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Broncos add White to injury-depleted backfield; Betts says no

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  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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LenDale White received another chance in the NFL, thanks to the Denver Broncos' banged-up backfield.

The Broncos signed White on Wednesday to provide depth at running back after Correll Buckhalter (back) and Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) were injured on the first day of training camp. Moreno is expected to miss the rest of camp, and Buckhalter should be out about one week.

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Terms of the deal with White weren't disclosed.

The Broncos also offered a contract to free-agent running back Ladell Betts, but the former Washington Redskin turned them down, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported, citing a league. Betts has visits with other teams, including the New Orleans Saints, scheduled this week.

In another surprising twist, the Broncos released Kolby Smith, the most experienced of their backup running backs, who have seen a heavy workload through the first four days of camp. Dnever has been so thin at running back that fullback Spencer Larsen saw some repetitions at the position in the morning session Wednesday.

After practice, coach Josh McDaniels said the Broncos had enough depth to make it through camp, but they later elected to make a move anyway.

"Right now, we're in a lot of one-back sets," McDaniels said before the White deal was announced. "If we have another guy go down, we might have to think about it."

With Smith released, the Broncos' healthy running backs include White, Bruce Hall, Lance Ball, Toney Baker and Larsen.

Before White, a Denver native, can suit up for the Broncos during the season, he has to miss the first four games for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. He remains eligible to practice and play in preseason games.

White's best stretch in his four-year NFL career came in 2007, when he rushed 1,110 yards and seven touchdowns, and in 2008, when he had 773 yards and 15 scores, all with the Tennessee Titans.

But White's role in Tennessee lessened last season as the Titans fed the football to Chris Johnson, who became the sixth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards. White mostly watched from the sideline, contributing just 222 yards and two TDs.

White was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in a draft-weekend deal, but he was released before he could play a down for his former USC coach, Pete Carroll. Seahawks general manager John Schneider said White "did not appear to be the right fit at this point in our program" after one month.

White, 25, has struggled with weight issues throughout his NFL career. He ballooned to about 265 pounds with the Titans before shedding the weight heading into camp last summer. White arrived in Seattle tipping the scales at 219, but he couldn't make it work.

White was listed at 235 pounds in a press release sent out by by the Broncos.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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