Welker misses more time with concussion
As expected, Denver Broncos slot receiver Wes Welker was
officially ruled out of this weekend’s game at Houston.
He’s also expected to be held out of the Broncos’ regular-season
finale at Oakland on Dec. 29 as a precaution against a third head
injury this month, which would end his season.
The Broncos (11-3) are hoping to gain home-field advantage in
the playoffs and a first-round bye that would give Welker more than
a month’s rest.
He hasn’t played since leaving the Broncos’ Dec. 8 game against
Tennessee shortly before halftime with his second concussion in a
three-week span. He was cleared Thursday to resume light
Welker has a career-high 10 touchdown catches on 73 receptions
for 778 yards in his first season in Denver after six years as Tom
Brady’s favorite target in New England.
Bubba Caldwell started in his place last week against San Diego
with Eric Decker moving over to the slot. Caldwell caught six
passes for 59 yards and two TDs, his first multi-score game of his
six-year NFL career.
But the Broncos, who are averaging 38.2 points a game, also had
their lowest output of the season in a 27-20 loss to the
Also ruled out against the Texans (2-12) was rookie cornerback
Kayvon Webster, who had surgery Monday to repair two fractures in
his right thumb.
”Everything is good,” coach John Fox said. ”He missed this
week just because he is recovering from an actual surgery. You
don’t want to risk any kind of infection. Players’ health and
safety first. But I think next week there is more of an opportunity
in a cast that he could be able to play.”
Webster first told the Broncos medical staff of his injury after
tackling Chargers running back Ryan Mathews following a 1-yard
catch on the fourth play of the third quarter, but Webster revealed
Friday that he actually injured his thumb covering a punt in the
first half and played through the swelling and pain before letting
anyone know he was hurt. Even then, he never came out.
After the game, X-rays revealed two breaks and the following day
he needed an operation in which seven pins and five screws were
inserted. He was told he’ll be in a cast for four weeks, he
Webster said he’s been doing field work on his own and intends
to return to practice Wednesday and not miss any more games.
Also, defensive end Derek Wolfe will miss his fourth straight
game as he continues his recovery after suffering what the team
called seizure-like symptoms on the bus ride to the airport Nov.
The Broncos signed former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end
Jeremy Mincey this week to shore up their defensive front and help
hold the edges that were exposed in their loss to San Diego in
which the Chargers ran for more than 100 yards on first down.
Mincey was released by the Jaguars Friday after a falling out
with the front office that gave him a four-year, $20 million
contract last year when he was coming off an eight-sack season.
The Broncos feel that Mincey will be rejuvenated by his second
chance in Denver, where he was greeted by familiar faces in
defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, his former head coach whom he
thrived under in Jacksonville, and former Jaguars run-stuffer
Notes: Sunday’s game marks the first early kickoff (12 p.m. CST)
for the Broncos since Nov. 25, 2012, ending a stretch of 20
straight games in which they had the late or prime-time kickoff.
Therefore, the Broncos flew out a day early on Friday.
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