ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Derek Wolfe considers himself very lucky.
Laying on the field, numb after a hit to his neck by Seattle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson, the defensive end feared the worst.
He didn't lose consciousness, so he knew exactly what happened. But he couldn't feel his extremeties as he was carried to an ambulance, which drove him off the field.
"It was pretty scary laying there on the stretcher," Wolfe said. "Once I got into the ambulance and started moving I could start feeling everything again. I could move everything the whole time, it was just everything felt kind of fuzzy. Obviously when you shock your system like that it has to kind of reboot."
Wolfe said the injury ended up being diagnosed as a cervical strain, and it "looked a lot worse than it was."
But that doesn't mean he wasn't scared until he heard a definitive diagnosis at the hospital.
"When you're in a hospital and they're using a lot of big words, you're not really sure what they're talking about," he said. "But they did a really good job letting me know that it wasn't as serious as I thought it was once the scans came back all negative and stuff. I'm extremely blessed."
He was humbled and a little emotional seeing all of the support he received from fans on Twitter, and when he was able to fly back with the team, it was a huge relief.
Linebacker Wesley Woodyard joked on Monday that the team gave Wolfe a hard time for sitting in first class on the flight to Denver, but the team was glad to see him back on his feet.
"They clapped for me and stuff when I got on the plane and everything," Wolfe said. "I was extremely happy to be on the plane with (them). I look at this team as my family, so it was good to be there."
As for his recovery, Wolfe said his neck is sensitive right now, but he'll be back on the field "as soon as I feel better."
He went through a full upper-body workout in the weight room Thursday, which he called "a good sign." Head Coach John Fox said Wolfe isn't on any medication anymore, and has a full range of motion. The defensive end is just waiting for the pain to dissipate before he receives another MRI and is cleared to return to the field because he doesn't want to reinjure himself.
But he won't be thinking about the injury in live-game action.
"Well, if you play scared you're going to get hurt again," he said. "Don't count on me playing scared."
Fox said Wolfe is "coming along very well," and while the second-year pro didn't want to put a timetable on his return, he didn't hesitate to point to Sept. 5 against the Baltimore Ravens as his target.
"In my head, I say, 'Yes,'" he said of playing in Week 1. "I plan on being out there on the field. But obviously everything takes time. As soon as they clear me to go, I'm ready."