The NFL offseason preseason is often a time of suspensions and punishments instead of just football, as it’s been announced that Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs, which means he’ll be suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season.
There’s no need to get into the argument of what’s worse and how the league dropped the ball with the whole Ray Rice case. That’s ancient history, and right now Welker testing positive for amphetamines, a sample taken off of him right after he attended the Kentucky Derby. He is the second Broncos player suspended this week, following kicker Matt Prater getting a four game suspension, although in his case it was once again the league not doing any thinking, and Roger Goodell being in love with his ability to lay out sentences.
I’m as shocked as everyone at today’s news. I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I would NEVER knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way. Anyone who has ever played a down with me, lifted a weight with me, even eaten a meal with me, knows that I focus purely on what I put in my body and on the hard work I put in year round to perform at the highest levels year-in and year-out.
Obviously, Welker is contesting that the sample was tainted. It’s hard to find NFL players or athletes in general that immediately admit that their positive tests were because they actually took certain substances. Time will tell.
The plain fact is that for now, Welker is out of action until early October. The Broncos are now missing about 60% of their reception catches from last season in the next few games – Welker suspended, Eric Decker gone to play somewhere else. With the arrival of Emmanuel Sanders and the addition of rookie Cody Latimer, the Broncos are hoping that there won’t be any indication of such heavily used players not being on the field.