Broncos' Derek Wolfe sent home with flu

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A day after working into practice for the first time since Nov. 29, defensive end Derek Wolfe did not take part in Thursday’s workout after he was sent home with the flu.

Wolfe will not play Sunday in Oakland, but the Broncos are still optimistic he will be available in the postseason. The Broncos will have a bye during the wild-card weekend.

Wolfe took part, on a limited basis, in the Broncos' Christmas Day workout Wednesday. It was his first practice since suffering “seizure-like symptoms’’ on the team’s bus ride to the airport in the days leading up to a Dec. 1 game in Kansas City. He had been expected to participate in practice on Thursday, but showed up to the team’s complex with the flu and was promptly sent home.

“This was the flu,’’ said Broncos head coach John Fox following Thursday’s practice. “ … It’s been going around, through the team, through the building. It’s been pretty much the 24-hour variety and hopefully he’ll be back [Friday].’’

Fox went home with flu-like symptoms on Monday before returning to work on Tuesday.

“You deal with just about everything … [the flu] works through our group too,’’ Fox said.

Wide receiver Wes Welker practiced on a limited basis for the second consecutive day as he continues to work through the league's concussion protocol. Welker, who suffered a concussion just before halftime of the Broncos’ Dec. 8 victory over the Tennessee Titans, didn't practice until Wednesday and has been held out of the past two games.

Welker, who also suffered a concussion in the Broncos' Nov. 17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, is expected to be held out of Sunday’s game as the Broncos prepare for the postseason. Before he can play in a game Welker will have to be declared symptom-free by both the Broncos’ medical staff as well as a designated independent physician who has been approved by both the NFL and NFL Players Association.

Cornerback Kayvon Webster, who had surgery Dec. 13 to repair a fractured right thumb, practiced again Thursday and is expected to be available to play Sunday. Backup center Steve Vallos, who suffered a concussion blocking on a kickoff return Sunday in Houston, did not practice Thursday.