DENVER (CBS4) – With the Broncos projected No. 1 running back out of the lineup for medical reasons this preseason, several other backs are getting a chance to strut.

One of those is C.J. Anderson, CBS4’s guest on Xfinity Monday Live this week. Early on in their 34-0 win over the 49ers on Sunday in San Francisco, the Broncos handed it off to Anderson frequently. Show host Vic Lombardi told Anderson he looked more decisive and confident than last year, his rookie season.

C.J. Anderson (credit: CBS)

C.J. Anderson (credit: CBS)

Anderson said having a year of NFL experience is making a big difference in his game, and that it doesn’t hurt the man leading the offense is Peyton Manning.

“Being in there with No. 18, he just makes things so much easier. When you’re in the game and he calls a play, and he looks at you and he has that trust and that faith in you it (helps) a lot,” he said. “It’s my second year in the offense and I’m understanding a lot of things better and it’s making me play a lot faster.”

Anderson said that between himself and Ronnie Hillman, they had some “strong, hard runs averaging about 3 to 4 yards a carry” during Sunday’s win.

He referred to himself, Hillman and Montee Ball — who is currently out of the lineup after contracting appendicitis — as a “three headed monster” other teams need to watch out for, even though the Broncos offense is heavy on the passing game.

“We’re not going to run the ball as much as we would like to run it as running backs in the backfield, but if we can get some 30 or 40 yard touchdowns on some runs teams have to respect it,” he said. “We’re just trying to do everything we can to make the run efficient.”

Anderson said his symptoms from his concussion in the first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks are now gone. He’s now wearing a special helmet like the one receiver Wes Welker started wearing after a concussion last season, and said he’s glad the NFL’s extensive concussion protocol steps are in place.

Anderson said in the tests he had to undergo before being cleared to play again he had to “draw squiggly lines, shapes and a whole bunch of things that you normally wouldn’t do.”

“I had to say numbers backwards. I was saying the months of the year backwards — and you’ve just got to be 100 percent all of the time,” he said. “They say the purpose of the test is not to make you fail but to make you think. And if you’re concentrating and you’re thinking and you don’t have a headache or any memory loss then your symptoms are pretty much gone away.”

Anderson should get plenty more playing time in the Broncos third preseason game against the Houston Texans, which takes place on Saturday night.

By the regular season’s start Ball should be back in the lineup and the “three-headed monster” should be ready to strike more fear in the hearts of defenses already bracing for the Broncos formidable passing attack.

Watch more video with C.J. Anderson in CBS4’s Xfinity Monday Live section.

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