Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil played his first full contest since the 2009 season on Sunday at Green Bay. Dumervil started the season opener against Oakland, but was limited to pass-rush situations due to a shoulder injury, which kept him out of the team’s Week 2 and 3 games.
While that was not the way the sixth-year pro hoped to kick off the season after missing an entire year due to a pectoral injury, Dumervil is working to get back to the form that he displayed the last season he took the field, when he led the NFL with a club-record 17 sacks in 2009.
“There was a lot of rust last week, but I’m looking forward to this week,” Dumervil said after practice on Thursday. “I felt good in practice, so it should be a good week.”
Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen looks forward to getting Dumervil back on the field at full strength, but knows that it won’t happen overnight.
“To get good at playing the game you have to play the game,” Allen said. “When you’re off for that extended period of time, you have to have a little bit of time to get back and get in the groove.”
Allen can’t wait to see a healthy Dumervil chasing after opposing quarterbacks.
“I did see some things in (Elvis) that obviously I’m excited about having him back,” Allen said. “I think every day that he’s out here, every game he plays in, every practice he practices in, he gets a little bit better every day.”
Another player who is looking forward to seeing a healthy No. 92 back on the field is the team’s No. 2 overall draft choice, strongside linebacker Von Miller, who leads all NFL rookies with four sacks through the team’s first four games.
In the first full game that the duo played together, Miller posted his first career multi-sack game.
The pair provided a glimpse of what could be in store for future quarterbacks on the Packers’ first offensive series of the game. On Aaron Rodgers’ first snap, he rolled out on a play-action pass attempt and found Dumervil, who shoved the Packers quarterback to the ground as he threw the ball away. On the next play, Miller knocked down Rodgers as he released a pass.
“(Elvis) is Batman. I’m Robin,” Miller said during training camp. With Batman regaining his wings, other quarterbacks are going to find themselves fleeing from the superheroes often.