Ed Andrieski, File, Associated Press
FILE - This July 27, 2011 file photo shows Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil, center, speaking during a media availability at the NFL team's football training facility in Englewood, Colo. Dumervil is eager for the Denver Broncos' peseason opener at Dallas this week because he hasn't played a down since the 2009 season, when he led the league with 17 sacks.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Elvis Dumervil drops to one knee in prayer every time he steps on or off the football field, something he couldn't do for a full year.

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Dumervil has a renewed dedication and determination after missing all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle. It was a freak injury that occurred in the first week of training camp last year just days after he parlayed a league-leading 17 sacks in 2009 into a $58 million contract.

Dumervil couldn't wait to get back on the field this summer. His teammates teased him about being the only player who was excited for training camp to start. And he acknowledges he has some butterflies heading into Thursday night's preseason opener at Dallas.

It will be his first game since Jan. 3, 2010.