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NFL notes: Broncos busted up by rash of injuries

Wes Welker scored in the first half, but the former Patriot later left the game Saturday night with a sprained ankle.

john froschauer/associated Press

Wes Welker scored in the first half, but the former Patriot later left the game Saturday night with a sprained ankle.

Derek Wolfe says he’ll be back on the football field soon. The Broncos hope fellow starters Wes Welker, Champ Bailey, Louis Vasquez, and Stewart Bradley will be there with him.

All of them were hurt in Denver’s 40-10 preseason loss at Seattle on Saturday night.

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Wolfe accompanied his teammates on their flight home after being whisked from the field in an ambulance after a scary scene in which he lay prone on the field for a few minutes following a hit to his head.

Medical staff strapped him to a backboard and sent him to a hospital for evaluation of a possible cervical spine injury. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs were all negative, however.

‘‘Thanks for the prayers everyone, ill be okay and will be back on the field soon . . . ’’ Wolfe tweeted Sunday, an offday for the players.

The Broncos are counting on the second-year pro who had six sacks from the tackle position as a rookie last year to help fill the void if All-Pro linebacker Von Miller loses his appeal this week and has to sit out all of September for violating the league’s drug-abuse policy.

Wolfe was hurt on Seattle’s first drive when he was blocked on a running play during which the Seahawks’ Robert Turbin gained 8 yards. Wolfe was initially cut on the play by Seattle’s Luke Wilson. As Wolfe was getting back up, fullback Michael Robinson collided with Wolfe and appeared to compress his head and neck.

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Wolfe remained on the ground and appeared to be moving his legs initially, but medical personnel strapped him to a backboard and took him away in an ambulance.

Welker, the former Patriots receiver who caught an 11-yard TD pass from Peyton Manning in the game, sprained his right ankle. Bailey, who’s entering his 15th NFL season, hurt his left foot. Vasquez hurt his left knee and Bradley injured his left wrist.

Manning’s blindside protector, Ryan Clady, is expected to return to the lineup this week and play Saturday night against St. Louis after missing most of training camp while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Other key players who have been out include running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle).

‘‘We have to get a few guys that have been injured back on the field,’’ Manning said. ‘‘I know I've talked before about forming your identity and forming the chemistry of this team. We haven’t had all of our players at full speed. So hopefully that can start a little bit more this week.’’

Keller out for season

Dustin Keller will miss the entire season with a knee injury that leaves the Dolphins without much experience at tight end, a position at which they were counting on an upgrade to enliven their offense in 2013. Keller seriously injured his right knee during Saturday’s exhibition game at Houston, two people familiar with the diagnosis said Sunday. They confirmed the extent of the injury on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins made no public comment. Keller signed a $4.25 million, one-year contract with the Dolphins in March after five seasons with the Jets. His injury represents a significant setback for the Dolphins, who acquired Keller to replace tight end Anthony Fasano and help second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill . . . Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz left Sunday night’s game at Indianapolis because of a bruised heel. The former University of Massachusetts player, who signed a multiyear, $43 million contract before the start of training camp, had X-rays on the foot that were negative. He did not return. The Colts won, 20-12 . . . Jets linebacker Quinton Coples, who led the team in sacks last season as a rookie, will be out several weeks with an ankle injury. The Jets said Coples, who was injured in a 37-13 win over the Jaguars on Saturday night, will have a ‘‘medical procedure’’ on his right ankle Tuesday and miss the remainder of the preseason.

Edwards joins Bears

The Bears signed quarterback Trent Edwards to a one-year contract and waived wide receiver Jerrell Jackson. Edwards has started 33 games in a five-season career with Buffalo, Jacksonville, Oakland, and Philadelphia. The former Stanford quarterback has more than 6,000 yards passing, with 26 TDs and 30 interceptions . . . Buffalo rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel had a ‘‘minor procedure’’ on his left knee and will miss the remainder of the preseason. After two weeks, he will be considered day to day . . . Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright will miss Tennessee’s exhibition game with Atlanta Saturday after an MRI showed a sprained right knee . . . Panthers linebacker Jon Beason practiced in full pads for the first time since undergoing microfracture knee surgery in the offseason, and receiver Domenik Hixon returned to work after battling a hamstring injury. Coach Ron Rivera said it is unclear if Beason will play Thursday at home against Baltimore. Hixon is expected to play.

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