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Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe practiced for the first time on Tuesday since he was carted off the field and taken by ambulance to a Seattle hospital with a neck injury during a preseason game against the Seahawks less than two weeks ago.
Wolfe plans to play in the Broncos' regular-season opener on Sept. 5 against the Baltimore Ravens.
"It feels really good," Wolfe said. "I thought I was going to be out a little bit longer, but I started better and every day it was getting better."
Another injury is the only thing that would keep him off the field on the NFL's opening night. After Wolfe was carted off the field in Seattle with his head immobilized, his quick return is a bonus for the Broncos.
"Absolutely, there is no question that I'll (play), as long as nothing happens in practice, knock on wood," Wolfe said. "Don't want to get hurt in practice, but as long as I don't reinjure it I should be fine."
Despite the scary injury in Seattle, Wolfe will continue to play without reservation. He saw action in all 16 regular-season games last year and finished with 40 tackles and six sacks.
"I think if anything when you have to sit out, it's funny how much you really don't like to practice until you can't do it anymore," the second-year player said. "And then you're just dying to get out there again. That whole time you're just thinking I could have been done for good, but now that I'm not I want to get out there bad. Once you're playing football, you don't think about getting hurt and if you do you're going to get hurt."