The starting job at running back isn't the only thing Montee Ball lost during his month on the sideline recovering from a torn right groin.
The Denver Broncos' second-year pro said he eliminated sweets and cut down on carbs and fried foods during his rehab because at 224 pounds, he wasn't hitting the holes fast enough.
So, he dropped a dozen pounds and now tips the scales at right around the weight he was at Wisconsin and two pounds lighter than he was at the NFL combine in 2013.
"Today I felt great out there," Ball said Wednesday following his first practice since he was hurt Oct. 5. "I felt a lot more elusive. I felt a lot more agile. And this is where I should have been at the beginning of the year."
"It was kind of my plan, so I could move better, hit the holes faster," he said. "I was 224 when the injury happened. I'm 212 now and I most definitely love it. This is where I was at in college, and I feel a lot more comfortable at this weight."
Ball is a threat to Ronnie Hillman's status as the starter, so he's worth a stash in larger leagues.