"If I don't have butterflies, something is wrong," Davis said Thursday. "Bird-sized."
When Davis takes the field, it will mark a major milestone in his recovery from major knee surgery. Davis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while making a tackle after an interception Oct. 3.
"He'll get into about 10 plays and maybe a few more," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "We'll give him a chance to carry the ball a little bit. He's excited to get out there and take a couple of shots."
Two seasons ago, Davis became the fourth running back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. He now faces the mental and physical challenge of regaining that MVP form.
The Broncos have been cautions with their three-time All-Pro, limiting his practice time during training camp. Team owner Pat Bowlen even said he would prefer to see Davis sit out Saturday's game.
"I'm ready to go," Davis said. "The longer I don't play, the more anxiety is going to build up. So I want to get in there right away."
Davis will line up behind starting quarterback Brian Griese, who endured heavy criticism during Denver's disappointing 6-10 season. Shanahan said the first-string offense and defense will play one quarter or about 15 snaps.
Whether it's one play or 15, rambunctious linebacker Bill Romanowski is ready to get started.
"You can't tell me that games don't mean anything. Games mean a lot," Romanowski said. "The preseason sets the stage for the regular season. The years we've won Super Bowls around here, we've had that feeling in the preseason. It's got to start this weekend."
Quarterback Gus Frerotte, who is expected to play about two quarters in relief of Griese, had a slightly different perspective as he continued to adapt to Shanahan's intricate offense.
"We'd like to win them all, but no matter what happens, that first game against St. Louis, we're going to be 0-0," Frerotte said. "I want to have a good game and try to do all the things right. If something goes wrong, you've just got to fight it off and come back."
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