The NFL has suspended Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker for the use of amphetamines, according to sources speaking to ESPN. The popular, undersized receiver has had a tough couple of weeks. He suffered a concussion in a preseason contest against the Houston Texans last week–his third concussion since last November. Remarkably the big news–until the drug suspension–had been that Welker returned and practiced with the team this weekend despite the concussion. (The NFL has issued new concussion protocol after agreeing to pay retired injured players almost three quarters of a billion dollars last August for brain-related problems.)
The Broncos were humiliated in the Super Bowl last year by a ferocious Seattle Seahawks team that battered Denver quarterback Peyton Manning into one of the worst performances of his career. Welker was little help and was looking to make an impact for the team which, despite its gaudy regular season offensive performance last season, only had four receivers catch passes. Welker was a key piece of the Denver machine, catching a career high 10 touchdowns from Manning. Between the concussions and the amphetamines suspension, Welker may have a long climb back into the league’s upper echelon. For now, he’s out four games.