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Wes Welker suffers concussion in preseason loss to the Houston Texans

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The Denver Broncos’ worst fears have been confirmed; wide receiver Wes Welker did indeed suffer a concussion in his team’s 18-17 preseason loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday.

"It was determined it was a concussion," said head coach John Fox. "He'll go through the protocol. The biggest thing on him is, of course, player safety.”

In the second quarter of the contest, the 33-year-old Welker caught a pass across the middle from quarterback Peyton Manning and, while attempting to slide, caught a shoulder to the head from defensive back D.J. Swearinger. While Welker did pop up and begin to walk off the field under his own power; he was attended to by team personnel, and did not return to the game.

Sweringer was assessed a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness for his hit on Welker. On the next play, Manning connected with receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a 29-yard touchdown pass. After the play, Manning ran into the end zone and got into the face of Swearinger, receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting.

“I'm obviously concerned about Wes and never like seeing him come out of the game with a potential blow to the head, said Manning. “ He had one of those last year that kept him out a while. Fifteen yards with five seconds left in the half—it can't hurt you that much, right?”

“I think if you're going to get one, that's a good time to get one."

Welker missed three games last season due to a pair of concussions. It is unclear how long the receiver will be out. He was not scheduled to play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys.

If Welker is forced to miss any regular season action, rookie Cody Latimer may be asked to play in his place. A second round selection out of Indiana in the 2014 NFL Draft, Latimer was already expected to be Welker’s heir apparent in the slot. He may now get his chance a little sooner than expected.