He had six sacks as a rookie, but Whitney Mercilus expects much more this season in his second year with the Texans.
"Definitely, I think I would be able to produce double-digit sacks and I'm pretty confident in myself," Mercilus said Monday. "It's just a matter of putting in the work to get there."
The outside linebacker is back from a hamstring injury he suffered on July 29 during training camp. He didn't play in any of the preseason games, but said he's fit and ready for the Week 1 opener next Monday night at San Diego.
"I'm back off of like the third practice from injury, doing all of the workouts and stuff like that and I'm ready to go out right now," Mercilus said. "Just concentrating on us these first few days.
We'll get started on San Diego on Thursday and see where it goes form there."
Mercilus said he'd never injured his hamstring before, and wasn't accustomed to watching his teammates practice without him.
"It was frustrating because, as a competitor, you want to get back out there and you see your teammates taking valuable reps and things like that," Mercilus said. "I just had to wait patiently and now it's my opportunity this week to actually get back in that rhythm."
Mercilus will start at the weakside outside linebacker spot, while Brooks Reed is the starter at the strongside position.