ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --There were never any questions about inside linebacker Brandon Marshall's toughness. But his willingness to play through pain this season in the wake of offseason foot surgery is unusual, even by the gritty standards of most NFL players.
Belying his physical discomfort, Marshall looked comfortable in his first NFL game as a 3-4 inside linebacker Sunday, leading the team with six solo tackles and posting one of the defense's two sacks.
In the aftermath of the game, his foot was "a little sore" -- as he expected.
"I think this is something I'm going to have to battle with," he said. "I'm going to have to battle with it all season. I've got two screws in (the foot) -- one of them broke, so I'm just going to have to battle with it all season. It's going to be tough, but I think I'll be just fine."
Marshall had two screws placed in his foot during an April procedure that followed the foot injury he suffered at San Diego on Dec. 14, 2014.
"It was supposed to keep the joints together until the ligaments healed. It did that," he said. "It broke, so I guess there's no use for it."
Marshall believes that he broke the screw in the Aug. 29 game against the 49ers, but he isn't sure exactly how or when it happened because he didn't feel it.
"It just happened. I took an X-ray the week of the Ravens game, and they said that the screw broke," Marshall said.
"The doctor says it's not a concern that it broke, but it got a little sore after the break. I think it will be fine."
Marshall was scheduled to have the screws removed after the season; this remains the case. If he had the broken screw removed during the season, he would miss eight weeks, he said.
If he can handle the pain, it should not cause any further issue.
"It's still a foreign object in my body," he said. "I think my body's responding to it in a different way, which is why I think I'm a little sore."
"I didn't think it would break this early; I didn't think it would break at all," Marshall added. "But it broke before the first game, and I played with it against Baltimore just fine."