Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe will miss his first regular-season start. (Joe Amon/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe suffered what the team called seizure-like symptoms on Friday, and was taken to a Denver hospital. According to a statement released by the Broncos on Saturday afternoon, Wolfe "underwent extensive testing and is now being treated accordingly by doctors, who will continue to monitor his condition.”
Wolfe, who became ill on the team's bus on the way to the airport to travel to Kansas City for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, will miss the game. He had started all 11 of the team's regular-season games in 2013, despite a frightening preseason injury against the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 18. In the first quarter of that game, Wolfe was hit high by tight end Luke Willson and low by fullback Michael Robinson, and was taken off the field after being immobilized.
He received a comprehensive series of tests, including MRI, CT scan, and X-rays, and all tests came back negative. It is not known whether that injury, or any other injury had a hand in his recent symptoms. He was diagnosed with a cervical strain at the time and resumed practicing with the team in late August. Playing in 566 total snaps this season, Wolfe has amassed four sacks, six quarterback hits, and 28 quarterback hurries. He has not missed a start since the Broncos selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Cincinnati.
If Wolfe suffered a seizure as the result of a concussion or other head-related injury, it wouldn't be the first time that a high-profile player had done so. On Oct. 23, 2011, San Diego Chargers offensive guard Kris Dielman suffered a grand mal seizure on the team plane home after a game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Dielman was injured in a fourth-quarter collision with defensive end Calvin Pace and appeared concussed off the field, but waved the officials off when they went to check on him. Dielman was deemed fit to fly and had his seizure before the plane touched down in San Diego. According to Dr. Thomas Mayer
, the NFLPA's medical director, Dielman was not given a CT scan by the team's medical staff.