GREELEY, Colo., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- An MRI performed Monday on the swollen left knee of Terrell Davis showed no breaks or tears, just some chronic arthritis in the joint.
"There wasn't really anything new on the MRI," said Coach Mike Shanahan. "He's got a little lubricant in there to hopefully help it and he's got a little bit of cortisone which will take a little bit of inflammation out of the joint. We'll just keep our fingers crossed, and hopefully he can get back to where he was a couple of weeks ago."
Davis underwent the MRI one day after the Broncos' 27-3 preseason win over the Chicago Bears. He suited up for the game, but was forced out after his left knee began to swell during warmups.
"He said even if was the Super Bowl he couldn't have played, so it's obviously bothering him quite a bit," Shanahan said. "We'll find out in the next few days where he's at."
Prior to receiving the results of the MRI, all that Davis knew for certain was that he would sit out the afternoon practice on Monday, the Broncos' first full training camp workout in four days.
"I just pretty much have the wait-and-see attitude," Davis said. "I have to wait and talk to the doctors (and) trainers and see exactly what direction we want to head in, because everything is pretty much based on the results that we get from this test."
Davis reported the knee problems during warmups on Saturday evening. When he couldn't go, Olandis Gary got the start in his place, with rookie Clinton Portis taking over in the second quarter.
It marked another setback for Davis in his quest to recapture the form that saw him dominate the league from 1995-98, a span in which the Broncos won 54 games while he rambled for 6,413 yards on the ground. During that stretch, he also scored 73 touchdowns, including 12 in eight postseason games.
Since tearing the ACL and partially tearing the MCL in his right knee during a loss to the New York Jets in Week 4 of the 1999 season, Davis has battled injuries in both legs. Injuries to his lower left leg and left ankle kept him out for all but five games in 2000. Last year, he tore the lateral meniscus cartilage in his left knee, which sidelined him for two games in November. He also missed six games early in the season following more surgery on his right knee.
Last year, Davis appeared to be getting back his old previous. He averaged nearly 90 yards in the eight games he played, and posted a 4.2-yards-per-carry average, his highest figure since the seminal 1998 campaign.
Davis acknowledged that posting another 2,000-yard season is unlikely. But throughout training camp, he has improved his acceleration and sharp cutting ability, allowing him to assume a stranglehold on the No. 1 running back job in spite of keen competition from Gary and Portis.
"On the way home from the Chicago game, Davis pondered surgery and the future.
"That's all I could pretty much think about on the bus, the airplane, when I got home," Davis said. "I had to reflect on what direction ... am I going to head in. You just have to put the options in front of you, to say, 'Just in case this happens, are you prepared to do x.' I can be pretty patient, and one of the reasons I can be patient is we're going to have these other running backs get all the reps."
"The question is, 'Can he play on gameday and will that knee hold up?' We don't know the answer to that right now," said Shanahan, "but we're going to give him a chance to see if he can play, to go out there and play in these preseason games. He's not going to need many reps (in training camp)."