The team out at Dove Valley is understandably dealing with both positives and negatives of a multitude of change. The Denver Broncos are finishing up minicamp tomorrow and will take their much deserved break before returning to training camp in late July.

One of the remaining, highly concerning issues left to address is the health of their starting inside linebackers, Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall. Despite being limited in minicamp and organized team activities this spring, both are looking to regain their form in 2015.

“I have no days off,” Trevathan said of his time since seriously injuring his knee cap for the second time last December. “All roads lead to this season so anything I can do to get better I’m going to do it.”

Both Marshall and Trevathan struggled up the depth charts over the past few seasons and have separately, become very valuable pieces to the Broncos’ defense. Now they are both recovering from some serious injuries. However, the two of them haven’t really seen much of the field together. It is a situation that Trevathan pines for every day.

“We are two of the best linebackers in the league. It is time for people to start noticing that. You know we came in with kind of a chip on our shoulder and us lining up next to each other is just extra motivation. I look in his eyes, he looks in mine and we both know that we got abilities to be the best out there. So why not go out there and play every game like it. It’s time for us to make a name for ourselves.”

Marshall suffered a Lis Franc injury to his right foot in week 15 of the 2014-15 season. It is an injury that was caught late and allowed Marshall to play in the season-ending playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The delay in diagnosing the seriousness of his injury has caused him to be mostly absent for OTAs and minicamp. He is learning the new defense from the sidelines and stated Wednesday that the simplicity of the schemes will allow him to pick it up quickly when he returns.

“It has been kind of tough because I am used to always be out there doing my part to help the team,” he said Wednesday. “I will be back at training camp. That is what the word is.”

As he progresses through the season the scary part of his injury for the team and fans alike is that the injury can nag him for the entire year, something he actually has already been told ahead of time.

“My trainer told me it will probably bother me a little bit throughout the whole year. Nothing to keep me out, but because the screws are in there, it’ll probably give me a little ailment after the game, after the practice.”

Luckily the two star linebackers are learning the mental side of the game together as well as motivating each other through the rehabilitation process much like another pair of Broncos defenders last season.

“I wish he wasn’t in there but it helps us.” Trevathan said of Marshall with sincerity. “It’s always reassuring and it’s positive. Von (Miller) and Chris (Harris Jr.) were together and you saw how they came back. That’s what me and Brandon are taking out there. We want to be the best.”

Trevathan seems to be farther along than Marshall at this juncture and has seen the field on a very limited basis. He stated Wednesday that he received a new knee cap on January 6 and that it feels good but has prevented him from any drills with physical contact.

“I’m doing quad strengthening; step-ups with weight. I’m doing squats; I’m doing leg presses; I’m doing a lot of balance, a lot of core; stretching a lot. I’m just doing everything I need to do. There are a lot of things. I can go on and on, but it’s all about getting this leg to the best of its ability,” Trevathan said.

While Marshall hopes to begin running next week and Trevathan looks to make enough progress during the off weeks ahead in order to get into physical drills, the backups will have to continue to improve. Trevathan knows all too well that at any moment a starter can go down and the next guy needs to be prepared.

“You never know what can happen. You’re one play from getting in. we want those guys to be prepared and be the best that they can be. Those guys have a great head on their shoulders and if they come in with the right mindset every day they are going to be great.”

Regardless of how much progress Lamin Barrow, Steven Johnson, Todd Davis and Reggie Walker make in training camp it is doubtful that they will be “great” enough to play at the level of Marshall or Trevathan. The Broncos defense’s success will be largely predicated on these two players health. Until statements like, “I think I will be ready,” and “I should be able to do some drills at the start of training camp,” are in the rear view mirror the road ahead for the team as a whole will be in doubt. However, if they return to form this defense could be a scary prospect for any opponent.

Email Sam at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @SamCowhick.