Derek Wolfe Suffers Ankle Injury During Broncos Practice; Carted Off the Field

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2017

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 20:  Defensive end Derek Wolfe #95 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field during the pre-game ceremony before a preseason NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 20, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Denver Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe was forced to leave practice on a cart Saturday after suffering an injury to his right ankle.

Jeff Legwold of ESPN noted the defensive end couldn't put any weight on the leg before he was transported to the locker room. Mike Klis‏ of 9News reported the ankle injury was "not as serious as it first appeared." 

In a text sent to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Wolfe said the injury is a "really bad sprain," with a tear in his ligament, however it won't require surgery and he will be ready for Week 1.

Wolfe was a second-round selection of the Broncos in the 2012 NFL draft. He's tallied 191 combined tackles, 22.5 sacks and eight passes defended across 69 games with the organization.

The 27-year-old University of Cincinnati product racked up 51 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 14 games during the 2016 campaign. He missed some time with elbow and neck injuries.

In May, Wolfe said he wanted to become more of a leader within the Broncos defense this season, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

"I saw things [last season] and I didn't speak up and say things when I should have," he said. "I'm not letting (expletive) slide this year."

Wolfe added: "When I see guys not doing the right thing, I'm going to tell them. I'm not going to sit back and let that slide. Me, it's either confrontation, fistfight, or say nothing. I'm learning how to not fight people, if that makes sense."

Losing him for an extended period of time would be a major setback for the Denver defense. He's been a stalwart up front for a unit that carried the team to the Super Bowl 50 title.

Zach Kerr and Adam Gotsis would likely spend the rest of training camp and the preseason competing to fill the void in the starting lineup if Wolfe doesn't return in time for the team's Week 1 home game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 11.