This past week, Denver receiver Wes Welker was suspended for the first four games of the NFL season for a violation of the NFL’s drug policy. There has been speculation on what drug Welker was suspended for using. Some sources have said that the drug was amphetamines, MDMA (or “molly”) or non-prescribed Adderall. Welker was adamant that he hasn’t knowingly taken anything on the NFL’s banned substance list and has said he plans on appealing the suspension. I feel this suspension, however, is a blessing in disguise for Welker — he’d be better off just taking it and sitting out the first four games.
Welker was already considered a physical question mark for the Broncos early in the season because of a concussion he suffered in a preseason game against Houston. This concussion was his third in the last 10 months, and Welker’s stated that he wants to get back on the field as soon as possible. This suspension is protecting Welker from himself. At the time of the suspension, Welker had not officially been cleared by team doctors, but it was believed that he might be able to play in the Broncos’ season opener.
I would love to see Welker have a continually successful NFL career. He’s a great player, but the way he plays leaves him extra vulnerable to injuries — especially concussions. He’s a small guy who is constantly going over the middle of defenses to catch passes and getting smacked by linebackers and safeties. I’m not saying he should never play football again, but I think he should look at some ex-players who’ve had their post football careers suffer from injuries they’ve endured during their playing careers.
Welker should definitely not try to rush back into football at all. When he comes back, he needs to make sure he’s 100 percent healthy. These next four weeks will give him some more time to get healthy but also some time to think about his football and post-football future.