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Fifteen players to watch at Broncos training camp -- 12. Adam Gotsis

Posted Jul 15, 2017

"Little Wolfe" did some big things at OTAs, but is now recovering from knee surgery that will sideline him until the first week of camp. How will he do when he returns?

Defensive end Adam Gotsis' progress would have been worth watching even before he was forced to undergo knee surgery that will keep him out until sometime during the first week of training camp.

Now, eyes will be on him to see how he responds after a second procedure on his knees in the last two years.

The injury wasn't related to the torn anterior cruciate ligament that he suffered during his senior season at Georgia Tech; his June surgery was on his other knee. Nevertheless, it was a frustrating setback given that Gotsis had just hit full speed for the first time as a pro -- and was showing flashes of the raw talent that made him a second-round pick in 2016.

"They say it takes you a year to get back to yourself coming off of an ACL injury," Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods said during OTAs. "Last year when he came in, he was coming off that ACL and I don’t feel like he had the opportunity to train physically in the offseason and get prepared for his rookie season.

"When you look at him now, he looks like a new person. I watch him through drills. He has great athleticism for his size and he’s built like a superhero. He’s doing great things for us right now."

Before his recent surgery, Gotsis was causing the same kind of disruption during OTAs as veteran Derek Wolfe, generating consistent pressure from the inside and holding his ground at the point of attack. Gotsis also got his arms up when he couldn't reach the quarterback for a sack, leading to several deflected passes during OTAs.

Gotsis' play and strength earned him a nickname from his teammates this offseason: "Little Wolfe."

“He’s doing great. I’m really proud of him," Wolfe said before Gotsis had his recent injury. "He’s really turned it around. Last year, [Defensive Line Coach Bill] Kollar was on him every day, all day. He’s actually getting a good job out of him. It’s good to see him doing well."

Now, the key question Gotsis must answer in training camp is this: Can he pick up where he left off before his recent surgery? The answer could determine whether he can harness his athleticism and energy into on-field performance.

Adam Gotsis