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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In a season that's been marked in part by a juggling of defensive personnel because of injuries, the Denver Broncos have yet another one to deal with after rookie cornerback Kayvon Webster underwent surgery for a fractured right thumb Friday.
Webster suffered the injury when tackling running back Ryan Mathews with just under 13 minutes remaining in the third quarter of Thursday night's 27-20 loss to the San Diego Chargers. He played the rest of the way with the thumb wrapped beneath the glove he was wearing, but he had a team trainer look at the thumb several times during the game.
"It's not season-ending,'' coach John Fox said Friday. "We'll just see how he works back.'"
Webster is expected to miss the Dec. 22 road game against the Houston Texans to allow the incisions time to heal, and he could be back for the regular-season finale against the Oakland Raiders. He'd wear a cast on his hand should he play against Oakland and then in the playoffs.
Linebacker Von Miller had a similar injury as a rookie in 2011 and missed one game before playing the team's last six of the season, including two in the playoffs, with a cast on his surgically repaired hand. He often said he felt he was playing "one-handed'' with the cast.
Webster had a difficult night at times as Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers repeatedly threw Webster's way in man coverage. Fox said he believed Webster battled throughout the night and that he continued to play almost a half after suffering the injury.
"Kayvon is a young player that is a good player,'' Fox said. "Every time they go out there, there are lessons learned ... he'll get better for it.''
Webster said after the game he would "be all right'' and that he'd "be back in there'' following the surgery.Also Friday, Fox said wide receiver Wes Welker would continue to go through the league's concussion protocol but that he had not been medically cleared to return to practice. Coaches have given the players the weekend off. The team will next practice on Monday.