That’s because Trevathan, 25, said he feared his career was over when he suffered a dislocated kneecap while playing for the Denver Broncos in December 2014 -- the third fracture he sustained that year on the same knee.
“When I had my injury, I thought it was over for me, but at the same [time] I wanted to get back,” Trevathan admitted on Thursday. “So I fell back in love with it [the game of football] and I don’t want that love to ever leave.
“I thought it was over because that was my third injury on that leg, but [luckily] it was the same injury.”
The dislocation required surgery to repair, but Trevathan healed quickly, starting 15 games (plus three playoff games) for the Super Bowl 50 champions.
“It’s an injury, man. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Trevathan said. “Surgery on your knee ... that’s where you put all of your weight. You gotta hold your body up with your leg. I knew I had to get that thing right if I was able to not just play football, but walk. I felt like when I started moving, running around outside, doing ladders … I just fell back into my steps and it came natural.”
The Bears were clearly satisfied with the health of Trevathan’s knee, giving him a four-year, $24.4 million contract with $12 million guaranteed.
Trevathan said his familiarity with head coach John Fox played a large role in his decision to sign. The linebacker spent three years with Fox in Denver before the 61-year old coach was let go and hired by the Bears.
“It played heavily,” Trevathan said. “Especially going back to him, giving me my first opportunity to play, coaching me, helping me to want to be great and getting close to that. It definitely helped me getting here and there are some familiar faces around here, so it helped me make an easy transition.
“Fox was always in my ear. He used to make funny quotes, funny sayings, 'I checked my rule book today, and it said you can be great.' Just stuff like that stuck with me, always respected him and he was always in my ear, telling me, 'Danny, no matter where you come from, you can go places. Sixth-round draft pick, people overlook you all this and that, but you're here now; make a name for yourself.’”
Trevathan will be afforded every opportunity to make a name for himself with the Bears. The organization expects Trevathan to be one of their cornerstones on defense as the group looks to significantly improve in the second season under coordinator Vic Fangio.
“I pack some punch now,” Trevathan said. “I don’t care how big you are. I don’t care how strong you are. It’s just me and you, right there. I’ve got faith in myself, and I hate losing.”