ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Four Broncos missed Wednesday’s practice with injuries – quarterback Peyton Manning (ankle), wide receiver Wes Welker (neck/concussion), tight end Julius Thomas (knee) and tight end Joel Dreessen (knee).
"You always like to be out there," Manning said. "I'm just kind of following (Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos) 'Greek' and the doctors' orders."
Manning and Dreessen have been listed on the team's injury report for the past few weeks with their respective ankle and knee injuries, but Thomas' knee and Welker's neck/concussion were two new listings.
"He's working through the protocol," Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said of Welker. "They're increasing activity as he clears hurdles and all that. When they give me the green light, we'll get him back out here."
Even though this week represents a chance for Welker to play against New England, where he spent six seasons, Manning said he knows his teammate would want to be on the field regardless of the opponent.
"I think Wes wants to be out there every single week," Manning said. "I can't speak for him in this particular week, returning to his old team. But I think Wes wants to be out there for the fourth preseason game if the team would let him play. It's just kind of how he's played his career out. He's kind of a guy that just is going to be in there, doesn't take anything for granted. I think that's a pretty consistent theme of Welker."