John Fox: Broncos will take it slow with Wes Welker

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Broncos coach John Fox will often begin answering injury questions with the phrase “I’m not a doctor, …” but on Monday he sounded almost like one.

According to Jeff Legwold of, Fox was careful not to describe Wes Welker’s concussion as “mild.”

“I can’t give a level. It’s just a concussion,” Fox said. “I don’t think there’s part concussion, half concussion. Either you’re concussed or you’re not, the way I understand it.”

While it might seem like a small distinction, it’s actually quite important (even as John Harbaugh was describing Bernard Pierce as having a mild concussion). Getting coaches to accept the seriousness of head injuries is a huge step, as for too long, there was a “rub some dirt on it,” element to the business.

But since this is Welker’s third concussion in 10 months, the Broncos have no choice but to take it seriously.

“Our first priority is his safety and well-being,” Fox said. “I know as an organization his well-being is our first priority. . . . We just take it one day at a time. We’ll see how he gets through today, and I get updated on every day medically on every player, including Wes in this case. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

Fox said he talked to Welker, who was in good spirits, and didn’t get the feeling his receiver was thinking about retirement.

“That’s not been brought up at all,” Fox said. “I didn’t sense that.”

While his condition remains uncertain, he at least has the benefit of working for a coach who doesn’t minimize the impact of brain injuries.

10 responses to “John Fox: Broncos will take it slow with Wes Welker

  1. It shouldn’t be up to the player. There needs to be some protocol to handle both total number of concussions received as well as number of concussions in a given span of time.

  2. I love Wes, he’s awesome. But now is the time to retire. At this rate, he won’t know his name by age 50.

  3. Let’s see how serious the NFL is about concussions.

    They should treat concussions like substance abuse. Since this his 3rd one in a year. He should be suspended from play for 1 year.

  4. Um, yes, John, there are different grades and severities of concussions. In fact, it’s rather appalling you still don’t know that.

    Welker should make the decision on his own and live with consequences. But it’s still rather deplorable his head coach is feigning ignorance as to the very real possibility that Welker won’t remember his name in 10 years if he keeps playing.

  5. Nobody who knows WW would suggest that he’s the brightest guy. Not that smart, not a good listener, very stubborn. He is going to need some serious advice, and guidance……objective advice. The only logical end result, IMO, is to retire. He was pretty obviously concussed quite a bit in NE. No way can he be a slot receiver, at his size, with this history and not irreparably harm his future health. Manning’s lack of zip on the ball, coupled with Manning’s huge ego {i.e. thinking he hasn’t lost a thing in his own play} makes it worse. No way in hell will the Broncos do the right thing, without serious intervention from the NFL.

  6. Welker is a lesson to all out there on why he did the right thing in turning down the Patriots low ball offer. You never know when the paychecks will stop. I understand why the Patriots let him go. Wrong side of 30 asking for a big contract. Welker wound up getting $17.4 million for 2012 (Patriots franchise), 2013, and 2014. He’s a smart guy and I hope he is set up for life and enjoys his retirement. I don’t want to see him get hit again.

  7. hes fine, why is everyone so worried about him, How many times have you gotten your head hit on something, sure it might make you dumber, but he doesnt care. I mean geez, if he wants to play let him play, hes not your kid. Hes a grown man.

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