- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2011

ENGLEWOOD, COLO. (AP) - Only by lifting weights has a weight been lifted off of Elvis Dumervil.

The Denver Broncos pass rush specialist has been hampered by a sore left shoulder all season, an injury that’s sapped his strength and caused him endless aggravation.

Until now.

Over the bye week, Dumervil was finally able to pump some iron and build his confidence.

This was a step in the right direction for Dumervil, who had a league-leading 17 sacks in 2009 but hasn’t had one since.

His lack of sacks has become a sore subject.

Dumervil missed all of 2010 with a torn pectoral muscle, a freak injury that happened in training camp shortly after he signed a $58 million extension.

This year, it’s been the dinged-up shoulder that’s held him back and curtailed his ability to pursue the quarterback.

“It’s been tough,” Dumervil said. “Life is not easy. Nothing is easy. I always feel like sometimes you get a bump in the road and it’s how you respond. It’s how you come out of it.”

Dumervil figures this would be a perfect week to break out of his sack funk. He’s returning home to Miami as the Broncos (1-4) face the Dolphins (0-5) in a matchup of two reeling teams.

The Pro Bowl defensive end has already been hit up for 45 tickets from eager family members who want to see him play at home for the first time since he was drafted out of Louisville in 2006.

“Extra motivation,” Dumervil said of his homecoming. “Try to get this thing rolling.”

Following a solid training camp, Dumervil was poised for a big sack season. After all, he had rookie Von Miller on the other side to alleviate some of the pressure.

They even began calling themselves the dynamic duo of “Batman and Robin.” So far, Miller has five sacks while Dumervil has only applied moderate pressure.

“He’s not quite back yet,” Miller said in defense of Dumervil. “But I don’t think he needs to be all the way back for him to make an impact on the game.”

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