Wes Welker is expected to miss the Denver Broncos’ final two regular-season games because he has not fully recovered from a concussion.
Welker, who suffered his second concussion 12 days ago, is “doing better every day,” Coach John Fox told reporters Thursday. But he has not been cleared by doctors under NFL protocol and did only light running and weight-room work Thursday. The Broncos are likely to hold him out until the postseason, ESPN reports, although a determination about the regular-season finale Dec. 29 in Oakland has not been made.
Welker, who left the Nov. 17 game against Kansas City with a concussion, suffered the second Dec. 8 against Tennessee. Welker is tied for third with Eric Decker with 73 receptions; he is third behind Demaryius Thomas and Decker with 778 yards and is second on the team with 10 touchdown receptions. The reception and yardage totals are the third-lowest of his career and, over his first eight seasons with Miami and New England, he missed only three games. With Thomas and Decker and Peyton Manning clicking, maybe the significance of his absence will be minimized.
Peyton Manning might not miss Wes Welker. His Total QBR with Welker on the field: 79.4. Without Welker on the field: 91.7.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 20, 2013
The Broncos, who have the AFC edge for a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage in the playoffs, are 11-3 and play Sunday at Houston. Holding Welker out until the postseason seems like the smart move. If the team clinches a bye, he’d have an extra week in which to recover.