Time heals all wounds. For Derek Wolfe, it’s the only remedy available.
The Denver Broncos shut down its starting defensive end on Tuesday for the remainder of the 2017 season, placing Wolfe on injured reserve with a neck injury, the team announced.
Joining Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan for his weekly interview on Tuesday afternoon, Wolfe told Big Al and DMac that he suffered a cervical stenosis, for which there’s no other remedy than rest.
“You’ve got to really be safe with stuff like this and just let it heal, and you’ll be fine. Because if you don’t let it heal, then you’re going to have problems that last for the rest of your life,” Wolfe said.
According to WebMD, a cervical spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck and produces symptoms of coordinator and balance issues along with stiffness, pain, and numbness in extremities.
Last week, Wolfe told 104.3 The Fan his right arm went completely numb after getting punched in the facemask early on in the Broncos Week 12 tilt with the Oakland Raiders.
“It just goes completely numb, like you can’t use it,” Wolfe said last week of the injury.
After that play, Wolfe needed to be carted off to the locker room. He did not play Sunday against the Dolphins and did not travel to Miami.
Wolfe told Big Al and DMac that he initially injured his neck during Denver’s Week 11 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, where again his right arm went numb after being hit early in the game.
“The reason why I have to make sure the numbness goes away — it stays away for a while and actually heals — because if I keep letting it go numb like that I’m going to start to develop muscle atrophy,” Wolfe said on Tuesday. “You don’t want that to happen.”
In 2013, Wolfe suffered two serious incidents involving his spine that landed him in the hospital.
The first happened during a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks in which he suffered a spinal cord contusion after taking a hit. He fell limp to the turf and was taken off via stretcher then ambulance to an area hospital.
Wolfe was cleared to play by the regular season opener, but then the defensive lineman suffered another incident in which he collapsed on a team bus headed for Denver International Airport in November of that year.
The incident landed him in the ICU and a 26-hour medically induced coma.
“The last time this was happening, I just kept going. And it put me in the ICU and almost killed me,” Wolfe said last week. “So, to me, it’s like, I’m not going to let it go on for 12 weeks or for the rest of the season.”
“… I’m ready to get this thing fixed up and worry about my future.”
Wolfe, who started all 11 games he played in during 2017, said he’ll start his rehabilitation next week at the UCHealth Training Center and will be around his teammates cheering them on and motivating them.
When you’re injured, the best thing you can do is to tell guys how lucky they are not to be hurt. So, that’s what I’m going to be doing,” Wolfe said this week. “I’ve been telling everybody that health is wealth. And you guys have to keep grinding.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.
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