Recovering Trevathan ahead of schedule

Posted Jul 27, 2017

Fueled by the desire to rebound from what he felt was a sub-par season, Danny Trevathan participated in the Bears' first training camp practice Thursday exactly eight months after suffering a serious knee injury.

When Danny Trevathan suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee last Nov. 27 against the Titans, it seemed unlikely he would be ready for the start of training camp.

But eight months to the day later the veteran inside linebacker did in fact participate in the Bears’ first practice in Bourbonnais Thursday, albeit on a limited basis.

“It felt so good to be back out there,” Trevathan said. “I thank God for the opportunity. I felt real good out there. I felt like I was back to my normal self. But they did a good job with me telling me keep calm and just slow it down, keep a steady pace. As long as we’re not having any kind of backslide, no pain in my knee, we’re going to be all right.”

Danny Trevathan
Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan was on the practice field Thursday in Bourbonnais.

John Fox wasn’t surprised that Trevathan was able to practice Thursday. The Bears coach served in the same capacity with the Broncos during the linebacker’s first three NFL seasons from 2012-14 and saw a hungry, determined player who possessed an unbridled passion for the game.

In Denver, Trevathan transformed himself from an unheralded sixth-round draft pick from Kentucky into the leading tackler on a Super Bowl-winning defense.

“It’s very important to him,” Fox said. “Obviously not playing or being able to help the team is hurtful to a guy who has a lot of pride. He’s way ahead of schedule. He’s worked his fanny off to get back and get ready. We’re all very happy to see him out there.”

The Bears no doubt will be cautious with Trevathan, especially given that their regular-season opener against the Falcons is still more than six weeks away. Not surprisingly, it’s a game that the sixth-year pro expects to play in.

“The plan is just to ease me into things,” Trevathan said. “I know I’m ahead of schedule. I can run. I can cut. I can play football as fast as I used to, maybe even faster.

“I know I’m on the field right now. Things can change in a matter of seconds. But right now I’m looking forward to being there for the first game, and that’s my goal.”

Trevathan is not lacking motivation as he rebounds from an injury that’s similar to the one he suffered to his other knee with the Broncos in 2014. He felt that he underachieved in his first season with the Bears last year in part because he didn’t work as hard in the months immediately following Denver’s Super Bowl win as he had during previous offseasons.

“I started feeling a little too comfortable coming off a Super Bowl,” Trevathan said. “I was just [living] the high life. … I was partying a little bit. I didn’t really do what I usually do, which is get back to work, get right back to work, stay on it throughout the whole season, all of that. I wasn’t myself. It was a humbling experience for me.”

Trevathan told reporters Thursday that he has returned this season “with a lot more juice just because I knew I didn’t play as well as I could last year.”

“I’m looking to be even better,” he said. “I didn’t do as well as I thought I would last year. New scheme … I can make a lot of excuses. But that’s not the type of person I am. I’m here to make this team better. They brought me here to help win some championships.”

Prognosticators generally doubt the Bears will contend for a championship this season after stumbling to a 3-13 record last year. But if their lack of belief galvanizes the team or provides extra incentive, Trevathan is all for it.  

“You want it to be just us-against-the-world,” he said. “You want that mentality. A lot of people are going to say what they want to say. Critics, all those guys are going to say you were 3-13, all this and that. But we know we can be way better than that, and we showed glimpses of that. But now we’ve got to go ahead and show it the whole season.”