Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis suffered a forearm fracture, had surgery, and played in the Super Bowl two weeks later. Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips apparently hopes linebacker DeMarcus Ware can do the same thing.
“I’m hoping next week, but they said four to six weeks,” Phillips told reporters on Thursday regarding Ware’s return. “We’ll have to see what the doctor said, but I know he’ll come back when he can.”
Ware has an added incentive to get back ASAP; he can earn back the $3.5 million he gave up in salary based on sacks. With 13, he gets it all. He has 2.0 in two games.
“They have to,” Phillips said. “Shane and Shaq have to play now. They have to step it up to another level. DeMarcus is a pretty high standard so we hope those two guys come in and give some kind of semblance of what we got from DeMarcus. They’re working on it and they’ve played before. We played without DeMarcus last year quite a few games. They’ve experienced it and we won with those guys playing so we expect them to come in and play for him.”
It helps to have Von Miller on the other side.
“I think he ought to be MVP now,” Phillips said.
If Miller keeps playing like he has so far this year, maybe he will be. Which will make it a lot easier to Ware, Ray, Barrett, and the rest of the defense to do what they need to do.