The move was not a surpise and Welker was not considered in line to play at any point this week by the Broncos. Welker is subject to the league's concussion protocol and did not take part in either of the team's practices Tuesday or Wednesday. He will continue to be evaluated and must be symptom free, as cleared both by the team's medical staff as well as an independent doctor, before he can return to the practice field.
Tight end Jacob Tamme figures to get most of Welker's snaps in the offense against the Chargers.
Defensive end Derek Wolfe, who has not practiced since suffering seizure-like symptoms on the team's Nov. 29 bus ride to the airport for the trip to Kansas City, was also formally ruled out for the game.
Cornerback Champ Bailey, who was a full participant in Tuesday's practice, was limited Wednesday and formally listed as questionable as he continues to deal with a left foot injury that has kept him out of the lineup for all but three games this season.
Bailey played about a half in the Broncos' win at Kansas City, but after both Bailey and Broncos secondary coach Cory Undlin talked about it on the sideline Bailey was removed from the game. Bailey later said he didn't feel “confident'' as he played in that game.
The Broncos have taken a more measure approach since.
"Being real honest, we may have rushed him a little bit, don't know if he was completely ready,'' said Broncos coach John Fox, following. "He's missed a lot of time this year, we just want to make sure. Down the stretch we're going to need him. We just want to make sure he's completely ready when we put him out there.''
All of the others on a long list of players on the Broncos injury report are expected to be available to play against the Chargers. That total included wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (left shoulder), running back Knowshon Moreno (shoulder), wide receiver Eric Decker (ribs), tight end Julius Thomas (right knee) and kick returner Trindon Holliday (shoulder), who were all full participants at Wednesday's practice and are all expected to play against the Chargers.