What the Return of Danny Trevathan Means for the Denver Broncos


Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan is eligible to return from the short-term injured reserve list this weekend versus the San Diego Chargers. It remains to be seen if he will play this week but even if he doesn’t, Trevathan is sure to be back on the field for the Monday Night game versus the Cincinnati Bengals.

Trevathan has had two good days of practice so far this week and as of now it looks like he has a decent chance to play on Sunday. Whenever Trevathan does return, he will make an already above average defense even better.

When the Broncos went to training camp back in August, Trevathan was one of the top four or five players on the defensive side of the ball and easily the best all-around linebacker. The fact that the Broncos have done so well in his absence is a credit to their depth but make no mistake, Trevathan is a difference maker.

The one positive that has come out of the Trevathan injury is the emergence of Brandon Marshall who has been excellent all season. Some NFL scouts have said that Marshall has played at a Pro Bowl level since taking over for Trevathan, and now the Broncos are about to get both of them on the field at the same time.

The return of Trevathan will give the Broncos one of the fastest group of linebackers in football, and will give defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio even more options. The primary beneficiary of Trevathan’s returns could be fellow linebacker Von Miller.

With Trevathan out, Miller has been asked to drop back into pass coverage from time to time and that’s not what he does best. Both Trevathan and Marshall are excellent in pass coverage and that will allow Miller to focus on getting to quarterbacks.

If the Broncos are going to get to where they want to go, then chances are they are going to have to go through the New England Patriots and that means finding a way to slow down Rob Gronkowski. No one is going to stop Gronkowski but the return of Trevathan gives the Broncos a chance to slow him down.

Trevathan is one of the best linebackers in the NFL when it comes to covering tight ends and he would probably be the primary option if the two teams do meet in the playoffs. Trevathan’s return also gives the Broncos options if and when they meet the Patriots again. Del Rio could have Trevathan underneath Gronkowski with a safety like Rahim Moore over the top.

I understand that we are getting was ahead of ourselves but that’s a real life example of how important Trevathan is to the Broncos defense.

The Broncos are already one of the best defenses versus the run and the return of Trevathan only makes that area better. The Broncos, with Trevathan and Marshall, are going to be one of the fastest defenses and getting to the outside is going to be almost impossible. That means opposing teams are going to try and run inside and with the exception of a couple of games, that hasn’t worked either.

Having a player like Trevathan back on the field allows other players to freelance a little more. Look for Del Rio to be even more creative with blitzes and stunts when Trevathan returns. He is very good at blitzing from his linebacker spot and can cover running backs and tight ends allowing others like TJ Ward to blitz.

The return of Trevathan is great news for the Broncos on a number of fronts and we’ve only touched on a few. He’s a leader, he makes those around him better and gives Del Rio a ton of options going forward.

However the thing that should have Broncos’ fans the most excited is seeing Trevathan and Marshall on the field at the same time, they have the potential to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.