Wes Welker is practicing for the first time since Labor Day. The Denver Broncos wide receiver was reinstated Wednesday after the NFL agreed to a new performance-enhancing drug policy.
Welker's four-game suspension for offseason amphetamine use was essentially cut in half, and he'll be eligible to play Sunday at Seattle.
Under the new rules, players who test positive for banned stimulants in the offseason will no longer be suspended. Instead, they will be referred to the substance-abuse program, where a first offense doesn't result in an immediate ban.
It takes multiple positive tests under the substance-abuse program before a suspension.
The players union agreed to the new policy on Friday. But the NFL didn't sign off on the new policy before Saturday's roster deadline.
Welker likely wouldn't have played against Kansas City anyway after having missed the entire week's preparation.
Welker sustained a concussion on Aug. 23 in a preseason game against Houston. It was his third head injury in a 10-month span. But he's been cleared medically so he was able to get right back on the football field upon his reinstatement.
Before beginning his suspension, Welker, a widely respected 11-year NFL veteran, vehemently disagreed with his punishment and said he'd fight to fix the league's drug policy.
Welker was originally banned until the Broncos' Oct. 12 game against the New York Jets.
Welker caught 73 passes for 778 yards and a career-high 10 TDs last season despite missing the final month. Without him, the Broncos have relied heavily on two-tight end sets with five of Peyton Manning's six TD throws going to tight ends.
The Broncos (2-0) won both games without Welker but faded in the second half of each game after building big leads. Their game against the Seahawks (1-1) is their first road game.
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