Twenty-five boxes were crossed out on Shane Ray‘s “Keep Grindin'” calendar, his homemade countdown to his comeback. Still blank were “5 DAYS” and “4 DAYS” and so on as the Broncos outside linebacker crept closer and closer to his return to the field.

Ray, struggling to sit still at his locker at team headquarters as he was pressed about his impending 2017 debut, had the energy and smile of a young boy. He couldn’t contain it, try as he might. He couldn’t help but tell anyone nearby that he is indeed coming back.

“We know, Shane,” a teammate deadpanned.

“We got it, Shane,” another teammate uttered.

Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium, Ray’s wait will end as he steps onto the field for the first time after an arduous recovery from wrist surgery. And he will do it in his hometown of Kansas City, in front of a large contingent of family members and friends wearing a mix of orange and blue, and red and white, cheering on both him and their beloved Chiefs.