From the time Denver linebacker Elvis Dumervil suffered a torn pectoral muscle during an ordinary training camp drill on Aug. 5, there had been fear the NFL sack king would be finished before he had a chance to defend his title.
But there had also been hope since Dumervil underwent surgery to reattach a tendon to the bone that he would be back by mid-November.
Those hopes vanquished Friday evening when Dumervil spoke at length with coach Josh McDaniels.
“”We mutually agreed this was the best thing to do,’’ Dumervil said. “”I just felt like I still have a lot of my career in front of me, and I still have so much I’m going to accomplish that it would be better to make sure I get this right and not risk re-injuring by rushing back. I didn’t want to go back out there with this hanging over my head and playing hesitant. I want to thank all the fans for their kind words through all this. I also ask them to make sure they continue to support the team. I think we’re going to have a good team this year.’’
Just not as good as the Broncos could have been. Dumervil’s season-ending injury occurred a few weeks after the Broncos signed him to a five-year, $58.332 million contract extension on top of the $3.168 million he will make this year.
The contract, which included an NFL-record $43.168 million guarantee against injury, was Dumervil’s reward for leading the NFL with 17 sacks last season.