Broncos injuries: Wes Welker passes concussion protocol, Julius Thomas questionable

Dustin Bradford

Wes Welker is expected to play Sunday against the Patriots after passing NFL concussion protocol. Julius Thomas' status for the Broncos is much less certain, however.

The Denver Broncos are expected to have the use of Wes Welker against the New England Patriots on Sunday. The wide receiver passed NFL concussion protocol Friday, and has been ruled probable, interim head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters. Tight end Julius Thomas was not as lucky. He is listed is listed as questionable with a knee strain on Friday's injury report.

Both Thomas and Welker missed practice Wednesday for the Broncos, but returned to practice Thursday. Both players were limited, but Welker was apparently upgraded to full participation Friday. Thomas was not, casting some doubt on his status in Foxborough.

Welker suffered the concussion, along with a neck injury, during last week's win over the Kansas City Chiefs. He took a hard hit late in the game, and after briefly leaving to be examined by training staff, it was determined that he was fine to head back on the field. Later, it was revealed that Welker was initially misdiagnosed, and that he played with a concussion Sunday.

Thomas did not leave last Sunday's game, but he apparently suffered a knee strain that has been nagging him throughout the week. He was reportedly "very limited" Thursday.

Peyton Manning was also held out of practice Wednesday, but returned as a full participant Thursday and is not believed to be in any danger of missing the bout against the Pats. He is still dealing with a sprained ankle he suffered in Week 10 against the San Diego Chargers, although the ailment didn't stop him from having an excellent outing against the Chiefs last week.

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