Broncos DE Derek Wolfe Suspended Four Games

By Vincent Frank

Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe has been handed a four-game suspension for allegedly violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Immediately after the decision to suspend Wolfe was made public, the former second-round pick released a statement:

“During the offseason I took a medication which is on the banned substance list. The medication is not a substance which would enhance my on-field performance in any way and I genuinely was unaware that it was prohibited, but players are responsible for what is in their bodies,” Wolfe said in a statement, via team’s official site. “I will certainly exercise far greater caution in the future and will seek advice relating to the permissibility of any and all medication.”

Considering there is a readily available hotline for players to call regarding banned substances, this “excuse” doesn’t hold much ground.

The suspension, however, is a big blow to a Broncos team that relies on Wolfe’s steady force at defensive end. While the Cincinnati product has only racked up 11.5 sacks in three seasons, he’s been among the best run-stuffing defensive ends in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Wolfe graded out as the second-best 4-3 defensive end in the NFL in terms of stopping the run last year.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, this suspension hurts a lot more than most originally anticipated. The team goes up against running backs Justin Forsett, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson in three of the first four games. Having to do so with Wolfe sidelined could be a big blow.

Photo: USA Today Sports