Wes Welker Slapped With 4-Game Ban For PED’s
The Denver Broncos were worried they could be without star slot receiver Wes Welker in week one due to a concussion. It turns out they will be, but for a different reason.
Despite being well on his way to recovery from his third concussion in the past 10 months, Welker will still miss week one (as well as the next three games) due to a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. While Welker’s exact infraction isn’t known, he reportedly had “amphetamines” in his system and will now sit out the next four games.
Welker will not officially be back on the field until week six, as the Broncos have a bye week during week five.
Luckily Denver had already prepared for life without Welker this off-season, as they knew the 33-year old was entering his final year with the team. The Broncos took protective measures to help them in 2014 and beyond, as they signed explosive wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and drafted the versatile Cody Latimer.
Sanders will step into Welker’s spot as Denver’s #2 wide receiver to get the season going, while Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas remain the team’s two most lethal weapons in the passing game. Latimer still remains behind veteran receiver Andre Caldwell on the depth chart, but will now almost certainly be utilized in some capacity starting right away in week one.
Both Sanders and Latimer have shined over the summer and in preseason play, suggesting that the loss of Welker won’t be felt too roughly in Denver’s potent attack.
That’s the hope at least, as Welker remained a tough to cover option out of the slot and caught over 70 passes in just 13 games in his first season with the team in 2013. Welker was especially effective in the red-zone oddly enough last year, as he scored a career high 10 touchdowns.
The Broncos will do their best to move on without Welker for the next few weeks, as they take on Peyton Manning’s former team – the Indianapolis Colts – in week one.
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