“The thing I’m concerned about obviously is some guys that we’re counting on huge have missed time,” head coach Gary Kubiak said. “It goes back to (OLB) Whitney (Mercilus). Whitney is back to work today. Worked with the team, looks great. But the fact is he hasn’t had a preseason.”
The second-year linebacker, who recorded six sacks in his rookie season, was expected to be a starter with the offseason departure of Connor Barwin to Philadelphia. Mercilus missed out on crucial reps when he did not return for the remainder of training camp. Kubiak did not want to rush his return, choosing instead to wait it out and keep Mercilus healthy for the start of the regular season.
While Mercilus was out, he had been working out on the side field, running individual drills throughout camp and the preseason. His return answers a big question at weakside linebacker opposite
“He’s been working extremely hard with the trainers,” Kubiak said. “Just getting back on the field with us is a big thing.”