Updated 11:29 PM EST, Sat, Nov 27, 2021

Wes Welker Stats, Contract & News: Concussion Takes Player Out of Houston Texans Game

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That one blow from DJ Swearinger did not only send Wes Welker out of the Saturday night pre-season game, it also gave him a concussion to remember it by.

"It was determined it was a concussion," said Denver Broncos coach John Fox, as quoted by CBS Sports. "The biggest thing on him is, of course, player safety. He'll go through the protocol... He won't come back until he's ready to come back."  

Welker's head was pinned to the ground by Swearinger, CBS Denver said. This came after he fell as he caught a short pass over the middle.

With just seconds on the second quarter's clock, Swearinger "drew an unnecessary roughness penalty for the hit," it said. Welker waved for help after the hit while the Houston Texans were slapped a 15-yard retreat. 

The 18-17 loss to Houston is the third time in 10 months that the Denver wide receiver got himself a concussion, CBS Sports added.

The first such injury was on Nov. 17 while the other was on Dec. 9, the report noted. It took him one week to recover from the first and he returned only during the Broncos' first playoff game on Jan. 12 for the second. 

The 33-year-old Broncos player, who in 2013 signed a two-year contract worth $12 million, including $150,000 in incentives each year if he catches 90 passes per ESPN, never had retirement in his mind after the two concussions last season, Denver Post said, while adding that concern immediately escalated after the incident.

In another in-game scene, for example, teammate Peyton Manning was so livid that he confronted Swearinger with "choice words" he wouldn't repeat later, The Washington Post said. He was flagged for what could be the first taunting penalty of his career.

Manning hit Emmanuel Sanders for a touchdown after the play that leveled Welker, the report explained. He then ran to Swearinger and yelled.

"That is a Hall of Fame quarterback. I respect him. There are some fine lines with hits. I could have tried to go low, but he ducked his head... What am I supposed to do? I made a Hall of Famer mad," Swearinger said after the game, as quoted by the report. 

"[I am] obviously concerned about Wes," Manning said, as quoted by CBS Sports. "I just didn't like seeing him come out of the game, a potential blow to the head, that kept him out a while last year, so obviously concerned about him."

According to the Denver Post, Welker wears a "protective shell on his helmet and a mouthpiece" to prevent head injuries.

During the regular season for the Broncos, CBS Sports said, he produced 10 touchdowns and caught 73 passes for 778 yards. 

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