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Wes Welker to miss rest of Denver Broncos' preseason

The Denver Broncos finally received some much-needed positive news on the injury front.

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Wes Welker's mild right ankle sprain will keep him out for the remainder of the preseason, but coach John Fox insists the slot receiver could play if there was a regular-season game tomorrow.

"This is preseason," Fox explained Thursday. "We're trying to get ready for our regular season and yet still hone our skills to get ready for that."

Veteran starters rarely play in the preseason finale, so Fox is just playing it cautious for a week. Welker hasn't had any problems gaining a quick rapport with quarterback Peyton Manning.

Other injury updates from the Broncos:

» Champ Bailey already has shed his crutches but remains in a walking boot after suffering a strained foot last week. The veteran cornerback is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.

» Defensive end Derek Wolfe hopes to be ready for the NFL opener versus the Baltimore Ravens after going down with a scary cervical spine injury last week. "If you play scared, you're going to get hurt again," Wolfe said, via The Associated Press, "so don't count on me playing any scared."

» Coming off his second knee surgery of the offseason, tight end Joel Dreessen reportedly moved well through conditioning drills. The Broncos now believe Dreessen has a chance for a tuneup in the final preseason game. Dreessen could end up with a reduced role now that Julius Thomas has emerged as one of Manning's favorite targets.

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