Welker hit with 4-game PED ban
their offensive weapons to begin the 2014 NFL season, as the league informed
the team Tuesday that slot receiver Wes Welker has been suspended four games
for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances.
ESPN reported that Welker tested positive for an amphetamine and had appealed
the penalty two weeks ago, which the league rejected Tuesday.
The five-time Pro Bowl selection will be eligible to return following Denver’s
Week 5 tilt against Arizona on Oct. 5. The Broncos are on a bye the previous
“Tonight’s news regarding Wes is very disappointing for our team, but we
understand the league’s authority in this area,” Broncos head coach John Fox
said in a statement. “While it’s unfortunate to not have him to start the
year, I have full confidence in our wide receivers and expect that group to
continue playing at a high level.”
Welker will miss what looks to be a very tough stretch of games for the
Broncos to begin the season. After opening with home dates against a pair of
2013 playoff teams, Indianapolis and Kansas City, the Broncos will travel to
Seattle for a Super Bowl XLVIII rematch against the Seahawks.
The 33-year-old Welker set a career high with 10 touchdown catches in his
first season with the Broncos in 2013. The former New England Patriot recorded
73 overall receptions totaling 778 yards in 13 games.
Emmanuel Sanders is expected to move from the outside to fill Welker’s slot
receiver role, with either veteran Andre Caldwell or 2014 second-round pick
Cody Latimer seeing increased snaps in the Broncos’ three-receiver sets.