Derek Wolfe says he’ll be back on the football field soon. The Denver Broncos hope fellow starters Champ Bailey, Wes Welker, Louis Vasquez and Stewart Bradley will be there with him.
All of them were hurt in Denver’s 40-10 preseason loss at Seattle on Saturday night.
Wolfe accompanied his teammates on their flight home after being whisked from the field in an ambulance after a scary scene in which he lay prone on the field for a few minutes following a hit to his head.
Medical staff strapped him to a backboard and sent him to a hospital for evaluation of a possible cervical spine injury. X-rays, CT scans and MRIs were all negative, however.
”Thanks for the prayers everyone, ill be okay and will be back on the field soon …” Wolfe tweeted Sunday, an off day for the players.
The Broncos are counting on the second-year pro who had six sacks from the tackle position as a rookie last year to help fill the void if All-Pro linebacker Von Miller loses his appeal this week and has to sit out all of September for violating the league’s drug-abuse policy.
Wolfe was hurt on Seattle’s first offensive drive when he was blocked on a running play during which the Seahawks’ Robert Turbin gained 8 yards. Wolfe was initially cut on the play by Seattle’s Luke Wilson. As Wolfe was getting back up, fullback Michael Robinson collided with Wolfe and appeared to compress his head and neck.
Wolfe remained on the ground and appeared to be moving his legs initially, but medical personnel strapped him to a backboard and took him away in an ambulance.
Bailey, who’s entering his 15th NFL season, hurt his left foot. Welker, who caught an 11-yard TD pass from Peyton Manning, sprained his right ankle. Vasquez hurt his left knee and Bradley injured his left wrist.
Manning’s blindside protector, Ryan Clady, is expected to return to the lineup this week and play Saturday night against St. Louis at Sports Authority Field after missing most of training camp while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Other key players who have been out include running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle).
”We have to get a few guys that have been injured back on the field,” Manning said. ”I know I’ve talked before about forming your identity and forming the chemistry of this team. We haven’t had all of our players at full speed. So hopefully that can start a little bit more this week.”
Notes: As for his arrest last week on a warrant for failing to appear in court for a traffic stop, Miller said after the game, ”It was something that I should have taken care of a long, long time ago. I take full responsibility for it. … I shouldn’t have let it become a distraction like it was.”