Wolfe underwent offseason surgery to relieve nerve pain on the right side of his neck and indicated that he's feeling better than he has at any point in five years, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports. "I can honestly sit here and tell you that as far as my neck goes -- I have to build my strength back up...but [the neck is] fixed," Wolfe said. "I feel so much better."
Wolfe had been dealing with the nerve pain during both of the past two seasons, causing him to miss seven games total, including the final five contests of the 2017 campaign. After undergoing surgery, Wolfe said that his neck has full functionality again, clearing up concerns about the defensive end's availability for training camp. The 27-year-old is still working to regain strength, however, so he could be limited during the Broncos' offseason program.
Defensive coordinator Joe Woods said Wolfe (neck) is recovering well and believes that doctors have "finally found the problem" in regard to the exact nature of the defensive end's injury, Carl Dumler of Scout Media reports.
Wolfe, who spent the final five games of the 2017 season on injured reserve, revealed last December that he's experiencing spinal stenosis in the C7 segment of his neck. Wolfe himself has previously expressed confidence that this injury won't end his career, but he still needs to gain medical clearance in order to take the field again. Fortunately, the chances of that happening seem favorable at this juncture, putting to rest any talks about his potential retirement.
Wolfe has spinal stenosis in the C7 segment of his neck, Troy Renck of Denver 7 News reports.
Wolfe re-iterated that this won't be the end of his career, as he wants at least four more years in the league. However, he admits that an elbow injury he suffered in the 2016 campaign made his neck injury worse, as he would engage with his head and neck more on tackles. The sixth-year defensive end had 31 tackles (18 solo) and two sacks through 11 games in 2017.
Wolfe (neck), who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, won't require surgery but will require a couple months to recover from the injury, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports.
The Broncos opted to shut down Wolfe for the season when the defensive end experienced numbness on the right side of his body after suffering the neck injury in the team's Week 12 loss to the Raiders. Though Wolfe was officially diagnosed with spinal stenosis, the injury doesn't look to be career-threatening, so the expectation remains that the 27-year-old will be back to full strength by the time training camp arrives next summer.
Wolfe lands on IR after suffering a neck injury in Week 12's loss to the Raiders. Wolfe started 11 games for Broncos, recording 31 tackles (18 solo) and two sacks in the process. Shelby Harris, who started last Sunday in Wolfe's absence, should continue to see increased defensive reps for the remainder of the season.
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