9:32pm: The league officially announced the suspension, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
9:18pm: Welker’s suspension will indeed go into effect immediately, meaning that he’ll be out of action this Sunday against the Colts, Klis tweets.
8:19pm: Because the suspension was announced so late in the week, the Broncos believe that Welker will be in action this Sunday against the Colts, tweets Klis. Whether that’s rooted in reality or simply wishful thinking on the Broncos’ part remains to be seen. Welker would also have to be medically cleared due to his concussions.
If Welker’s suspension does not go into effect this week but he’s still not medically cleared to play, that would actually be a worse outcome for the Broncos.
6:50pm: Welker was suspended for ADHD drug Adderall, according to Mike Klis of The Denver Post. This doesn’t necessarily contradict Florio’s report since Adderall can be a stimulant packaged with MDMA. Also, it doesn’t matter much for Welker in the grand scheme of things since he has already lost his appeal.
6:00pm: Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker has been suspended four games for the use of amphetamines, sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Welker appealed the suspension two weeks ago and all parties were notified today that he lost that appeal, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network.
A source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter) that Welker took “molly” at the Kentucky Derby, which resulted in the positive test. Florio adds that the drug was cut with with amphetamines, which would mean that Welker had taken ecstasy rather than molly. The situation is, of course, reminiscent of Orlando Scandrick‘s. The Cowboys cornerback reportedly took ecstasy while on vacation in Mexico this offseason and because the drug included amphetamines, his positive test put him in violation of the CBA’s performance enhancing drug policy rather than its recreational drug policy.
Even though it’s a four game suspension, Welker will have to wait until Week 6 to make his 2014 debut. The Broncos have a Week 5 bye, so Welker won’t be eligible to return until Denver’s game against the Jets on October 12th. The Broncos have known about Welker’s four game suspension since before camp but were holding out hope on his appeal, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
The Broncos could be on the lookout for outside help though they have plenty of receiving weapons already in-house. Peyton Manning will have free agent addition Emmanuel Sanders and promising rookie Cody Latimer at wide receiver while Julius Thomas and longtime teammate Jacob Tamme will be at tight end. Tamme sits behind Thomas on the depth chart, of course, but he could see some additional work while Welker is sidelined.
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