It was a great sight to behold. Derek Wolfe emerged from the Denver Broncos’ team facility Thursday afternoon looking healthy and happy. This comes less than a week after the second-year defensive end was carted off the field in an ambulance during the team’s second preseason game of the year against the Seahawks.
“It was pretty scary laying there on the stretcher and stuff, being numb,” Wolfe said. “Once I got into the ambulance and started moving I could start feeling everything again. I could move everything the whole time it was just everything felt kind of fuzzy. Obviously when you shock your system like that it has to kind of reboot. As of now everything is back to normal.”
Wolfe described the injury as a cervical strain and said that he hopes to be ready to go for week one of the regular season after another MRI. He has full range of motion back in his neck. The next step is for the pain on the right side of his neck to go away. Despite the strain and a little pain, Wolfe did an upper body workout in the team gym on Thursday. Talk about good signs.
No one thought last Saturday when the defensive lineman and second-round draft pick crumbled to the ground, he would be back at it this soon. Not even Wolfe knew how quickly he would recover. In fact, there were moments that he thought the worst after his injury.
“When you’re in a hospital and they’re using a lot of big words you’re not really sure what they’re talking about so yeah there was a couple times but they did a really good job letting me know that it wasn’t as serious as I thought it was once the scans came back all negative and stuff. I’m extremely blessed.”
Wolfe had 40 tackles and six sacks in his rookie season. He’s very well-liked on the team and was able to accompany his teammates back to Denver of the chartered plane.
“They clapped for me and stuff when I got on the plane and everything,” Wolfe said. “I got yelled at for not giving a ‘thumbs up’ when I was on the stretcher. ‘Wood’ (LB Wesley Woodyard) keeps giving me a hard time about that, the whole time. I was extremely happy to be on the plane with them.”
Despite the 30-point loss, Wolfe’s release from the hospital made those skies a little friendlier to fly.