Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos coach John Fox said Wes Welker will be evaluated throughout the week, per the NFL’s concussion protocol, and that the wide receiver’s health “is what we’re thinking about.”
Welker, who has suffered two concussions over the past four games, likely will miss Thursday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers.
“We’ll go through the proper protocol, it’s pretty strict, we’re obviously concerned with any player’s health,” Fox said. “Player safety is our priority.”
According to the league’s concussion protocol, even if a player is symptom-free the day following his concussion, he can return only to light exercise on Tuesday and Wednesday and participate only in the non-contact aspects of practice Thursday. In that scenario, Friday is the first day a player can take part in a full practice.
Also per the policy, once a team doctor has signed off on a player’s return to the field, a doctor unaffiliated with the team and approved by both the NFL and NFL Players Association must also clear the player to return. One of the factors considered, in addition to the cognitive tests, is a player’s concussion history.
Welker left the Broncos’ Nov. 17 home win over the Kansas City Chiefs with a concussion but played the following week at New England. He was injured Sunday as he tried to go low to get a pass just before halftime. With 35 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Peyton Manning tried to hit Welker over the middle. As Welker went for the ball, Titans safety Bernard Pollard crashed into the receiver’s head and neck.
Welker had five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown before the injury. For the season, he is second on the team in catches (73) and tied for second in touchdowns (10).
Fox also said Monday that defensive end Derek Wolfe would return to at least some team activities. Wolfe has been undergoing an array of medical tests since suffering what team officials called “seizure-like symptoms” Nov. 29 on the Broncos’ bus ride to the airport for the team’s Week 13 trip to Kansas City.
Wolfe was hospitalized following the incident and has missed the majority of the team’s activities since.
Fox said he could not say when Wolfe would return to practice or be cleared to play. He said doctors believe they have found the source of Wolfe’s issue, but that they would continue to evaluate Wolfe in a gradual return.
The coach also said kick returner Trindon Holliday (shoulder), who did not play Sunday against the Titans, would practice Tuesday.
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