Wes Welker WR DEN 6 Months5 Comments

Coach Bill Belichick ripped Wes Welker Monday, calling the hit that knocked Aqib Talib out of the AFC Championship Game "deliberate."

Wes Welker WR DEN 6 Months

Wes Welker was held to four catches for 38 yards in the Broncos' AFC title game win over the Patriots.

Welker's most notable early impact was a second-quarter pick play on which he absolutely crushed a defenseless Aqib Talib. Welker should have been flagged, but NFL referees rarely call penalties on illegal picks. Talib (ribs) did not return. Welker later beat double coverage down the left sideline for 14 yards, but had a 13-yard catch negated by a hold on Broncos LT Chris Clark late in the first half. Welker now has 38 yards in each of Denver's playoff games.

Wes Welker WR DEN 6 Months

Wes Welker confirmed he wore an oversized concussion helmet Sunday for safety.

Coming off a pair of regular-season concussions, Welker is doing everything he can to avoid a third brain injury. In addition to the helmet, he wore a specialized mouthpiece while posting a 6/38/1 line in the win over the Chargers. The Broncos didn't coddle Welker at all as he played at 75-of-79 snaps.

Wes Welker WR DEN 6 Months

Wes Welker caught six balls for 38 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Divisional Round playoff win.

Medically cleared from his three-game concussion, Welker started as Denver opened in a three-wide set. He proceeded to drop his first target, and had another drop in the third quarter. Welker did secure a seven-yard pass that deflected off Chargers DE Corey Liuget on the last play of the first quarter, and scored a second-quarter touchdown from three yards out, beating S Darrell Stuckey. It's worth noting Welker donned an abnormally large helmet Sunday, likely designed to combat brain injuries. The Broncos will host Welker's former team, the Patriots, in next week's Super Bowl decider.

Wes Welker WR DEN 7 Months

Wes Welker (concussion) is practicing in full this week.

Welker has been medically cleared for more than a week now. He's ready to rock against a Chargers team that held him to a 3/21/0 line in Week 10. Welker did not play in the two teams' Week 15 matchup thanks to his Week 14 concussion.

Wes Welker WR DEN 7 Months

Wes Welker (concussion) has confirmed he's ready to go for the playoffs.

Welker was medically cleared for the Divisional Round earlier this week. He missed the final two games of the regular season. "It took a little bit of time," Welker said Thursday. "Even when I felt I was 100 percent, looking back you weren't 100 percent. It's always a tricky injury and just trying to manage it and everything else, but the doctors and trainers did a great job of just doing the things necessary to get me back out on the field." Going on 33, Welker suffered two concussions this season.

Wes Welker WR DEN 7 Months

Wes Welker (concussion) has been medically cleared for the playoffs.

This was expected after the Broncos held Welker out of Week 17 as a precaution. He practiced on a limited basis all last week. Welker finished the regular season with 73 receptions for 778 yards and a career-high ten touchdowns despite missing the final three games. His return is a big boost to a Denver offense that will have to compensate for its leaky defense in January.

Wes Welker WR DEN 7 Months

Wes Welker (concussion) is fully expected to be ready for the Broncos' first playoff game.

Welker is being held out of Week 17 despite practicing on a limited basis all week. He'll now have two more weeks to get ready before the Broncos open their Super Bowl run. Welker is safe to draft in fantasy playoff leagues.

Wes Welker WR DEN 7 Months

Wes Welker (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 17.

The bad news is Welker isn't quite cleared for game action. The good news is he's almost certainly on track for a postseason return, getting in a limited practice every day this week. The Broncos will turn to some combination of Jacob Tamme and Eric Decker to replace Welker at slot receiver against the Raiders. Andre Caldwell will be mixed in on the perimeter.

Wes Welker WR DEN 7 Months

Wes Welker (concussion) remained limited in Thursday's practice.

Welker is unlikely to be cleared for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Raiders, but he should be good to go for the Divisional Round. Limited to 13 games by injury, each of Welker's 73 catches and 778 yards would be his fewest since 2006 with the Dolphins.