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Danny Trevathan is a warrior.
The linebacker is a hard hitter, leading his Denver Broncos in total tackles in 2013 with 124, while his three interceptions that year also tied the team lead. But following that stellar season as one of Denver’s most dynamic defenders, Trevathan’s 2014 was tough to say the least.
After starting all 16 games in 2013, the weakside linebacker only started once and saw the field in a mere three contests last season. Trevathan went through three injuries around his left knee; a medial tibial impaction fracture, a crack above the kneecap and then a dislocated patella (kneecap). His presence on the field was missed after he was placed on injured reserve following the Dec. 14 game against the San Diego Chargers, even though Brandon Marshall stepped up to fill the void and did well in the role. Until he was injured at the end of the season.
Trevathan was back at Broncos OTAs Wednesday, though, explaining he didn’t just have the old kneecap repaired, he had it replaced all together back on Jan. 6.
“It was difficult because it’s a bigger knee,” Trevathan said Wednesday following practice. “It’s got me moving a little bit better.”
Even though he’s not 100 percent, Trevathan finds importance in attending OTAs to learn the new defense.
“It’s just me getting my mind right and learning this defense,” the inside linebacker said. “We’ve got a new defense. It helps to be out at practice, but at the same time just seeing it and putting yourself in that position is going to allow you to make plays. It’s not a lot of thinking. It’s all about you lining up and knowing your responsibilities—and just playing fast, having fun and being physical in this defense.”
The Broncos are hoping to have arguably their top linebacker back for the season, with Marshall alongside Trevathan backing the defensive line. Marshall missed the final two regular season games of 2014 with a sprained foot which turned out to be a Lisfranc injury requiring surgery which he had on March 11. It required two screws to be inserted into his foot and is a lengthy rehab, as is coming back from a kneecap replacement surgery, but the two hope to be ready to practice in time for Denver’s training camp.
“I’ll be back in training camp,” Marshall said after practice Wednesday. “That’s what the word is. Until [I hear] otherwise, that’s what it is.”
Wade Phillips’ defense loves to put pressure on the quarterback and it will be interesting to see what he asks of the two linebackers in game-time situations.