The Denver Broncos defense got a much needed boost on Wednesday, as linebacker Todd Davis stepped onto the practice field at Dove Valley. Wednesday was the first time the five year veteran out of Sacramento State played a down of football since tearing his left calf muscle on the opening day of training camp.
The return of Davis couldn’t have come at a better time for the Broncos defense, which had trouble containing the Raiders offense at times on Monday night. Positional depth at linebacker has also been seen as a concern for the Broncos since the onset of training camp. Davis’s return could provide some much needed relief in terms of playmaking ability.
“He’s a thug. He’s our thug. Every team’s got to have one and Todd is ours… Todd is our guy,” stated star outside linebacker Von Miller.
The Broncos defense looked lost at times on Monday night, and it’s clear they’ve missed Davis’s ability to read and react to plays. The Broncos gave up two rushing touchdowns in the red zone against the Raiders, and Davis’s ability to stuff the run could have come in handy on Monday night.
While it would be huge to get Davis back out on the field, it is worth noting that if Davis does play against Chicago on Sunday, he will be kept on a strict pitch count. “It would be unrealistic for him to go out there and play 50 plays or more,” head coach Vic Fangio said. Davis hasn’t seen game action since last season, so it would be imperative for him to get his sea-legs back before he starts carrying the load as a starter.
Davis is coming off a year where he posted career highs in tackles, passes defensed, and games started. While Josey Jewell did a respectable job at inside linebacker on Monday night, it was pretty clear from the start that the Broncos missed Davis’s presence against Oakland. If the Broncos defense is to perform as advertised in the coming weeks, a healthy Todd Davis could be a major key to success.