|12-07-2006, 04:54 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2004
Wilson on fast track to return
Wilson on fast track to return
Al Wilson, already in a bad mood after being put on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance, really got steamed at Sky Ridge Medical Center on Sunday night.
While physicians scurried to make sure Wilson's numb arms came back to life and took precautions against a significant injury, the heart and soul of the Broncos' defense wanted to know the score of his team's home game against Seattle. Wilson wanted to be reassured the Broncos had snapped their two-game losing streak.
"The doctors didn't want to tell me. I didn't know until about 11 that night," Wilson, a middle linebacker, said Wednesday, adding he was angry. " I wanted to be there."
The only points given up by Denver's defense - 16 - came after Wilson suffered a neck injury and was taken to Sky Ridge with 11:37 left in the Broncos' 23-20 loss. The defense was stunned to see its captain in such a state and seemed to fall into a funk.
The scene was different Wed- nesday. Wilson was on the practice field with his teammates. In a remarkable turnaround, the player a stadium full of fans quietly watched being tended to for more than 10 minutes was in his usual spot in front of the Broncos during pre-practice stretching. Wilson participated in more than half the practice snaps.
Wilson's status for Sunday's game at San Diego will be evaluated daily. Listed as questionable for the game with a strained neck, Wilson said tingling in his shoulders and triceps has subsided.
"Al is a beast," said Broncos backup linebacker Nate Webster, who likely would replace Wilson if he can't play. "I think he likes to play with pain."
Wilson, a former boxer, said Wednesday he has come to terms with the risk of injury that comes with playing in the NFL. Still, numbness in his arm was a new, harrowing experience.
"We all know the consequences of this game when we play it," Wilson said. "We understand it's a violent sport and sometimes things like
that happen. I had a lot of prayers go up for me, and a lot of people believed in me. I think that's the reason why I came out unscathed. It's a beautiful thing to still be out here."
Wilson said he wanted to walk off the field Sunday night, but doctors wouldn't allow it. He didn't want to go to the hospital, either, but he understood the precautions being taken.
"I pretty much lost feelings in my arms at one particular time, so that was kind of the scary moment," Wilson said. "I have never experienced that before - not having the feelings - but also having the tingling in my fingers, but no feeling in the arms."
Veteran kicker Jason Elam also will be monitored daily. He is listed as questionable with a pulled hamstring in his plant leg. Elam was injured while gaining a first down on a fake field-goal attempt Sunday night. He said Wednesday he expects to be able to kick Sunday.
Elam said he likely won't kick during practice. Punter and kickoff specialist Paul Ernster practiced field goals Wednesday just in case. Ernster kicked field goals in college.
"We are planning on him kicking," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said of Elam. "I don't care about practice. This guy has been around forever. I'm talking for games. A lot of times Jason hasn't kicked during the week. He has a tweak here, a tweak there, he knows his body. He is a pro, but I will be shocked if he is not ready for game day."
Added Elam: "I'm optimistic. I'm getting better every day."
Tight end Stephen Alexander, who sprained an ankle during the Seattle game, practiced Wednesday. He is listed as questionable but said he expects to play Sunday at San Diego. Offensive tackle Adam Meadows missed some practice because of a hamstring injury. George Foster will start against the Chargers if Meadows can't play. Fullback Cecil Sapp had surgery on his broken leg Tuesday and is out for the season.
Staff writer Bill Williamsoncan be reached at 303-954-1262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.