After the first week of OTAs, Whitney Mercilus did not hesitate when asked how he felt in his return to the football field.
"Feels good, feels like I never left," Mercilus said on Texans TV. "Getting brushed up on a few things that we adjusted from last year but other than that, physically healthy. I feel like I'm better than I was last year."
The Texans starting outside linebacker missed 11 games after suffering a season-ending torn pectoral in Week 5 against Kansas City. Until that injury happened, he had played in all but two regular season games in his first five NFL seasons.
Last week, Mercilus returned for the team's OTAs and was a full participant. From proper nutrition to dry-needling to stretching and massages, he is doing whatever he can to protect himself from a repeat pectoral injury.
"To come back from it is not too bad, just got to stay on top of it," Mercilus said. "That's exactly what I've done and I'm right back in OTAs."
The Texans will hold three OTA sessions (Tuesday through Thursday) this week at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus' career as a Texan, and his college career at Illinois are shown here in photos.