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Wes Welker suspension could be lifted this week as NFL, NFLPA 'hopeful' to vote

The Denver Broncos and Wes Welker are waiting for the NFL and NFLPA to reach an agreement on reformed drug policies that could see the wide receiver reinstated from his suspension as early as Wednesday Thursday.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Originally published Tuesday Sep. 9th. Updated Thursday Sep. 11.

Update #2

It sounds possible Welker may be reinstated Thursday night, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Previous story below

Wednesday. Friday. That is when the NFLPA expects they will be able to vote on a proposed drug policy, USA Today's Tom Pelissero reports. Negotiations Tuesday that many had hoped would result in a vote did not gain such traction, and the waiting period Wednesday did not yield a vote either, perhaps because the NFL was distracted by something.

With a game this Thursday, it's unlikely the NFLPA will be able to get all 32 player reps together for a vote, making the most probable date to vote Friday.

So we continue to wait. And wait. And wait. The Denver Broncos even made room on their roster for Wes Welker, should he be reinstated, by releasing Nathan Palmer. He was later signed back to the practice squad.

Why this matters to the Broncos

One stipulation to the proposed deal is that they would make it retroactive beginning March 11, 2014 - the start of this league year. That means that discipline that has been handed down since that time would be reevaluated to fall under this new policy instead of the old.

That's good news for Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, who is currently one game into a four-game suspension, but whose violation of the NFL's PED policy in the offseason would shift into its substance abuse program. That would give Welker a first-offense warning instead of suspension.

In other words, if the NFLPA is able to vote on the proposed policy, and that vote reaches approval, Welker could be in uniform for the Broncos as soon as this weekend's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. But now that the vote has been tabled until Friday, it's putting Welker's availability this week in doubt.