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DL Clinton McDonald feels '100 percent,' ready to contribute


PARKER — Defensive lineman Clinton McDonald said he will undergo a physical Tuesday as he aims to return to field work following offseason recovery from a non-invasive procedure.

McDonald — who joined the Broncos in free agency in March — missed the entirety of the offseason program, but he said Monday he now feels "100 percent" and ready to contribute to Denver's defensive line.

"I feel great," McDonald said. "I've been working out with Derek Wolfe, Domata Peko [Sr.] [and] Adam Gotsis up here in Denver for about three-and-a-half weeks now, and I feel very encouraged."

McDonald said he expects to pass his physical, but he is unsure whether he will face any repetition limits or other restrictions as the team begins training camp on July 28.

"That's going to go on the medical staff and go on the doctor," McDonald said. "As far as how I feel right now, I feel like I can go and contribute now. But like I said, it's out of my hands when it comes to being medically cleared. [That decision] goes to the doctors and everybody that gets paid the big bucks to make those decisions."

When McDonald does return to full-speed action, the 6-foot-2, 297-pound player should find himself in the mix along the Broncos' defensive line. He is one of very few offseason additions to a position group that did not add a draft pick following a successful 2017 season.

The defensive line was a key piece of a unit that allowed that fewest yards per carry of any defense in the NFL.

McDonald, though, could help add a pass-rush element to the group. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer totaled 8.5 sacks over the previous two seasons from the interior of the defense, and he could see a number of opportunities as opposing offenses focus on players like Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.

After an offseason in which he was resigned to the sideline during both individual and team drills, McDonald suggested Monday he was more than ready to participate in more than just the meeting room.

And only once he jogs out on the field, he said, will he truly find his place in the defense and begin to prepare for the 2018 season.

"I've actually got to get on the field and contribute to understand what's going on out there," McDonald said. "Especially [because] it's not just you out there on the field. [In] basketball, it's LeBron James and four other guys. It's not like that in football at all. Football takes all 11 guys to complete your goal and get to where you want to be."

"So this spring was kind of hard for me not to be able to contribute in [a normal] sense. It's the first spring I ever was sidelined due to any kind of injury or illness. It was kind of humbling in a sense. It was shocking, because I know the type of guy I want to be here in Denver. I know the type of guy I want the coaches and my teammates to see me as."

Should McDonald pass his physical on Tuesday, he'll finally get the chance to show them.

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