There was a time as Wes Welker was recovering from his second concussion that he felt he was ready to play.

The Broncos' medical team held the star slot receiver out a while longer, anyway, and in retrospect he's glad for it.

"It took a little bit of time," Welker said Thursday in his first interview since his second concussion in a three-week period on Dec. 8. "Even when I felt I was 100 percent, looking back you weren't 100 percent. It's always a tricky injury and just trying to manage it and everything else, but the doctors and trainers did a great job of just doing the things necessary to get me back out on the field."

Welker first suffered a concussion on Nov. 17 in a home game against Kansas City. He passed the league's concussion protocol tests and was cleared to play in the next week's game, Nov. 24, against his former team, the New England Patriots.

Welker also played Dec. 1 in a rematch at Kansas City and was crossing the middle for a Peyton Manning pass against Tennessee on Dec. 8 when he was hit by Titans safety Bernard Pollard.

The concussion knocked Welker out of the game and he was held out of the Broncos' final three games of the regular season. He finished the season with 73 catches, which was his lowest total in seven years, but also 10 touchdowns, which was his personal best.