Wes Welker rejoining Broncos

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker is eligible to return to work thanks to the agreement Wednesday by the NFL and its union on a new policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Welker, who originally was suspended four games for violating the league's policy on PEDs, was made eligible to return to the team this week after the NFL and the players' union on Wednesday finalized the drug-policy changes they tentatively agreed upon last week.

Under the new policy, Welker's positive test for amphetamines falls under the league's policy for substance abuse. Under those guidelines, a player would enter the treatment program with the first positive test, a program that includes meeting with counselors; the player also would be subject to increased testing each month.

It would take multiple positive tests under the new substance abuse policy before the suspension phase is reached. For Welker's suspension, his positive test had fallen under the PEDs policy, which puts players into the suspension phase with the first positive test.

Under his original suspension, Welker would have been eligible to return to the team Monday, Oct. 6, and then would have played for the first time in the Oct. 12 game against the New York Jets.

Welker, Rams receiver Stedman BaileyandCowboys defensive back Orlando Scandrickare all eligible to return Wednesday under terms of the new policy.

ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold and The Associated Press contributed to this report.