Defensive end Stephen Bowen embodies the physical, team-first attitude the Washington Redskins have sought under head coach Mike Shanahan. This Sunday, he hopes to be able to play despite a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
Bowen tore the PCL in his right knee vs. the Chicago Bears on Sunday. This is an injury that Bowen is familiar with, having torn the same ligament in his left knee two years ago.
"I'm starting to get strength back every day," he said. "This time it's not as severe as my other injury. It mainly affects you in the back of your knee in terms of exploding out."
Bowen played with the injury two years ago in his first season in Washington, not missing a game. He was having one of his best seasons as a pro, posting 29 tackles and five sacks before the injury.
After tearing his PCL vs. the Seattle Seahawks he went on to play the very next week and finish the season with 41 combined tackles and six sacks.
At the end of the season, he was honored by his teammates with the team's Ed Block Courage Award. Now, he is prepared to do it again.
"They have a preventive tape job that stops me from extending it all the way," he said. "As I continue to increase in strength I'm sure I will get back to normal.
"It's frustrating because the last couple of games I feel that I was playing pretty well. You just got to roll with the punches."
After losing safety Brandon Meriweather to a suspension and other safety Reed Doughty (concussion) remains questionable, the Redskins will need all hands on deck to try and stop Peyton Manning and the Denver offense.
Bowen talked with the media bout what the defense will have to do to keep Manning from taking over the game.
"I think whenever you're playing a quarterback as good as Peyton Manning, that's the key you have to get pressure on him. If you don't have any pressure he's going to pick anybody apart," he assessed. "The Colts last week I think did an excellent job of getting pressure on him, making him antsy and causing him to make mistakes.
"We got to try and replicate the same thing."