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Broncos' Fox: Welker making progess

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker worked with the team’s strength and conditioning coaches Thursday, and Broncos head coach John Fox said Welker has shown improvement.

Welker did not participate in Thursday’s practice but spent some of the workout in the Broncos’ weight room. Fox said Welker had also done some on-field work outside as well.

“The exercise is picking up,’’ Fox said. “They’re doing more and more with him in the weight room, running around out here a little bit and … he’s doing better every day.’’

Welker, who suffered a concussion just before halftime of the Broncos’ victory over the Tennessee Titans, was held out of last Thursday night’s loss to the San Diego Chargers. Welker also suffered a concussion in the Broncos' win Nov. 17 over the Kansas City Chiefs.

He has not taken part in a practice since, but his work with the strength coaches is an indication he was cleared Thursday, as part of the league’s concussion protocol to begin the “light exercise’’ portion of the recovery. Welker will continue to be evaluated for symptoms and would have to remain symptom-free after this initial work to be allowed to progress to return to the practice field.

Before he can play in a game Welker would have to be declared symptom-free by both the Broncos’ medical staff and a designated independent physician who has been approved by both the NFL and NFL Players Association.

Cornerback Kayvon Webster, who had surgery Friday to repair a fractured right thumb, was also held out of Thursday’s practice. Webster will miss Sunday’s game, but is expected to be able to play using a cast on his thumb in the regular-season finale in Oakland. Defensive end Derek Wolfe also did not practice, but Fox said Wolfe continues to make progress.

Fox also alluded, following Thursday’s practice, to a possible return to the lineup in the postseason for Wolfe.

“He was in Monday, he looks a lot better (Thursday) than he did Monday,’’ Fox said. “Again he’s exercising more, getting kind of acclimated to the workout part of playing football, we’ll see what the rest of this week and next week bring.’’