ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe took to social media on Saturday to say he “dodged a bullet” with a right ankle injury after he had been carted off the field during practice.
Wolfe found himself in a pile during a running play during a team drill early in practice — tackle Menelik Watson limped, flexing his own right leg following the play — and stayed down. Trainers helped Wolfe onto a cart, and he was taken to the locker room.
Wolfe later expressed his relief on Twitter that the injury wasn’t as serious as it initially appeared when trainers helped him into the Broncos’ complex, as he couldn’t put weight on his right leg.
Wolfe also posted a picture of his swollen ankle after he had an MRI. In a text to ESPN’s Josina Anderson Wolfe, he said the injury was a sprain and that he would be ready for the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the San Diego Chargers.
Just a little swelling 😎 pic.twitter.com/iCz1TL7FhE
— Derek Wolfe (@Derek_Wolfe95) August 12, 2017
Broncos coach Vance Joseph said following the team’s practice that the preliminary exam by the medical staff showed “the first look, it wasn’t serious.”
Wolfe suffered a stinger early in training camp and was removed from drills for the remainder of that practice, but he returned to practice quickly in the days that followed.
Like the rest of the Broncos’ starting defense, Wolfe didn’t get much work in Thursday night’s preseason opener in Chicago. Wolfe played just three plays in the Broncos’ 24-17 victory at Soldier Field.
The starting defense played the opening three plays but were taken out of the game after cornerback Chris Harris Jr. returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game.
The Broncos have wrestled with some high-profile injuries so far in camp; running back Devontae Booker (left wrist) and linebacker Shane Ray (left wrist) will miss the entire preseason. Defensive end Billy Winn suffered a season-ending knee injury in the win over the Bears as he tore his right ACL.
The Broncos signed defensive lineman Nelson Adams, who had recently been waived by the Pittsburgh Steelers, when Winn was formally moved to injured reserve.