There was some thought that the Denver Broncos would be without the services of wide receiver Wes Welker to start the season. Now, instead of him being listed as questionable, he is most certainly out.
The NFL suspended the 33-year-old Welker for four games on Tuesday for violating the league’s performance enhancing substance policy. According to NFL Media’s Albert Breer, Welker tested positive for amphetamines. In an e-mail to the Denver Post, Welker denied intentionally taking any PEDs.
"I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I would NEVER knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way," read the e-mail. "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.”
The positive test came in May, and Welker reportedly appealed the punishment two weeks ago. As of Tuesday, that appeal was denied.
As reports began to surface on Welker’s four-game ban, there was speculation that the positive test was due to Welker taking amphetamine-laced MDMA while attending the Kentucky Derby. While Welker vehemently denies doing drugs, he does wonder if somebody may have slipped a “molly” into his drink.
“I wouldn't have any idea where to get a Molly or what a Molly is,” Welker told the Denver Post. “That's a joke. I don't do marijuana, I don't do drugs. I don't do any drugs.”
Instead, sources say that Welker specifically tested positive for Adderall. Regardless, his suspension will go into effect on Wednesday, and the Broncos will be without the services of their slot receiver for four weeks.
In a corresponding move, the Broncos promoted wide receiver Nathan Palmer from the practice squad, signing him to their active roster. Guard Ryan Miller was, in turn, signed to the practice squad to fill the vacancy left by Palmer.