When the Denver Broncos traded for Vernon Davis, a ten-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowler, the team was 7-0 and looking to add another weapon to their evolving arsenal on offense. He was expected to add a needed spark and a big-play element from the tight end position.

That role was not meant to be, at least not this season. Vernon’s contributions to the stat line have been less than fans, and perhaps management, expected. However, he has quietly helped the team to the AFC Championship and refuses to give up, instead embracing each day with a positive outlook while continuing to prepare.

“I think my time here has been great. It has been awesome. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Davis said Thursday. “I think me being here was meant to happen. Everything happens for a reason. Whenever you’re in a position or a place and things aren’t going the way you expected it to go, as a believer, I always believe that everything works out for the good. I have always been that way and it always works.”

Davis has nearly disappeared from the Broncos in recent games, playing just 13 total snaps in their last three contests (including one snap in the AFC Divisional Playoff) due to some monumental dropped passes in close losses against the Oakland Raiders in Week 14 and against the Pittsburgh Steelers the following week. They were game-changing drops that stick out like a sore thumb and thus has scaled back his involvement in the offense. Yet oddly enough, this week in particular, many forget that he had several key blocks, not catches, that helped the Broncos to a Week 12 win against the New England Patriots, helping them significantly in earning the top playoff seed and thus home-field advantage Sunday in the rematch.

All three of the Broncos rushing rushing touchdowns in the Broncos 30-24 overtime win against the Patriots had Davis executing the critical block on the edge. His 61 offensive snaps in the game topped fellow tight ends Owen Daniels’ 55 snaps and Virgil Green’s 15. He also cleared out the linebackers with a quick seam route on a 20-yard reception by C.J. Anderson that set up a Brandon McManus field goal. The point being, regardless of Davis’ recent successes or failures he has helped the Broncos reach the AFC Championship and is ready and willing to continue to help the team however he can.

“Whatever my role is, I am going to continue to be a leader and just have patience and be positive,” Davis said sincerely. “No matter what happens, you have to continue to stay on top of your craft. Honestly, when it is not going your way you have to work even harder.”

Davis has possibly lost the confidence of the coaches and maybe the quarterback, though no one has said so. Davis had very little time to gain any chemistry with Manning before the quarterback’s injury sidelined him, but Davis did consistently connect with Brock Osweiler. He has 20 catches (19 from Osweiler) for 201 yards since his arrival in Denver but has not been a factor recently. When asked about Davis Wednesday, head coach Gary Kubiak backed him up and hinted at a possible renewal of confidence in the veteran for the Sunday’s game.

“Vernon is doing fine. He’s been a real pro, obviously, the last few weeks. He hasn’t been as involved as he was a couple of other times during the year. I’m proud of Vernon. We’ve asked a lot of him. He came in here, learned a new system. He was working with Brock [Osweiler] for a few weeks now he’s working with Peyton, so there’s been some adjustments there, but he’s fine. He’s working hard. He’s ready to go and I expect him to help us out,” Kubiak said.

Davis is the tied for the second-most playoff experience on the Broncos roster, having played in nine postseason games, four of which were conference titles games and one Super Bowl. He is one receiving touchdown behind the Patriots Rob Gronkowski (8) for most in NFL postseason history. Whether he makes an impact on the field will remain to be seen, but his leadership and experience will be vital. He understands what emotions come with games like Sunday and will surely share his sentiments with his teammates.

“I think when it comes to games like this you just have to know that anything is possible. There is only one game, this game and you have to be in the moment. The moment we fail, if we don’t’ succeed and come out with a victory, then we go home. When you think about it, we work so hard, each and every last individual in this locker room works extremely hard and for us to just give up and let our guards down, it wouldn’t be fair for us to do that. If you just keep your mind on what you have to do everything will work out.”

That positive outlook has become almost a mantra for the whole team. They have faced adversity on a weekly basis and come out on top, at times through sheer will. Davis’ personal mindset on positivity suites this team perfectly and maybe validates his thoughts on his fateful arrival to Denver. The Broncos and their fans may have expected more tangible results from Davis, but maybe after the coming weeks his quiet impact will be looked upon differently – especially if things work out positively, as he always expects they will.

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