One thing we've learned as we have become more enlightened on concussions is that sometimes it's tough to predict how long they will linger.
Welker suffered a concussion, his second of the season, against Tennessee on Dec. 8. He didn't play Dec. 12 against San Diego, but that wasn't a surprise considering it was a Thursday night game. But he hasn't practiced this week, reports started to trickle in that he would miss this week's game against the Texans, and then ESPN reported he's expected miss Denver's last two regular season games.
BREAKING: Wes Welker expected to miss final 2 regular-season games after suffering 2 concussions.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 20, 2013
Hopefully Welker can get healthy and the Broncos are just being extra cautious, giving Welker extra rest before the postseason. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said that a Week 17 determination hasn't been made.
More on Welker: Too early to say if he’s cleared next week. But, if he’s cleared, he’ll play. Won’t be “held out” as precaution (2/2)— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 20, 2013
On the field, if Welker can't return by the playoffs – and again, concussions are tricky, so who knows – the Broncos' offense isn't the same.
Welker has 73 catches for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, and 49 of his catches have resulted in first downs. He's the guy who keeps the chains moving for Denver's offense, and also provides a nice vertical threat from his normal slot position.
The Broncos should be able to win their final two games without Welker, at Houston and at Oakland, and they might need the bye week off. Two more wins gives Denver the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and the extra week of rest should benefit Welker most of all.
Getting the bye would mean Welker would have more than a full month of rest after his second concussion this season. As we've seen in other cases, however, it's tough to say if that will be enough.
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