LARAMIE -- Mike Purcell has never suffered a season-ending injury before.

Not during his time at the University of Wyoming. Not when the big defensive tackle was a member of the 49ers, Rams, Bears, Panthers, Patriots, Chiefs or the Salt Lake Stallions of the Alliance of American Football, either.

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Last season, the second with his hometown Denver Broncos, ended differently. A torn ligament in his foot in Week 7 prematurely halted a campaign in which the Highlands Ranch product recorded 15 tackles, two tackles for loss and a big sack of Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.


"In all my years that I've played, I haven't had a big injury like this," Purcell told "I've had little nicks and bangs here and there, but to go on IR really hurt. It wasn't fun at all. I wouldn't say I let my team down, but in a sense, that's the way it felt. I'd do anything to be out there on that field with them."

Purcell signed a three-year extension with the Broncos just two weeks before that injury.


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In March, Purcell will undergo another surgery to remove all the metal from his foot. That could mean 6-to-8 more weeks of rehab, which could have Purcell back at Broncos camp for at least some of the team's offseason workouts.

"I can't wait to get back out there," he told the team's website. "It was rough watching the rest of the season without being able to be there. I just wanted to help any way I could to help the team win. No matter how this offseason goes and whether we have a program, we'll see. We're just looking forward to getting back on the field with my fellas and just playing football."

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