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Tyrann Mathieu needs to trust himself, Alameda Ta'amu 'needs to pick it up'

The two players coming back from knee surgery are not quite where they expected to be.

Norm Hall

The recovery of both safety Tyrann Mathieu and nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu have been discussed for a long time. Now that they both have played some this season, we can marvel at their quick return.

However, with their quick return, they have not seen the results they might not have expected right away.

Ta'amu played a handful of snaps in the team's first two games and was inactive in Week 3.

Bruce Arians was asked about Ta'amu's progress and if he has been slow in his return. He responded saying, "He's healthy, but he's not where he was, and needs to pick it up."

Perhaps this is why the team signed Bruce Gaston, to push Ta'amu to get to the level he was at a season ago. It also once again shows Arians' patience with guys that are recovering from injuries. We have seen it in dealing with Ryan Williams, Jonathan Cooper and now Ta'amu.

Mathieu was inactive in Week 1, played five snaps in Week 2 and then was up to 15 snaps in Week 3. He has seven tackles in two games, but head coach Bruce Arians described his play as "apprehensive."

"I think he is all mental," Arians said on Wednesday. "Read a book that tells you you're ok. It sounds crazy, but he just needs to know he's ok and trust the fact that he is ok."

Mathieu getting into the starting lineup looks tough for Denver, as the coaches are very pleased with the play of both Rashad Johnson and Tony Jefferson. However, Arians did note a jump from 15 to 30 or 35 snaps might be expected.

Are you getting a little impatient with the recovery time? They both came back way ahead of schedule.