Broncos defensive leader Wilson hurt, taken to hospital

Updated: December 4, 2006, 1:55 AM ET
Associated Press

 Al Wilson
DENVER -- Broncos backup linebacker Keith Burns knows he's going to get an earful about the loss from middle linebacker Al Wilson.

Wilson sprained his neck and was carted off the field and taken to a hospital by ambulance after a fourth-quarter hit Sunday night against Seattle.

After the game, which Denver lost 23-20 on a 50-yard field goal in the final seconds, a team spokesman said Wilson was moving all his extremities and was taken to Sky Ridge Medical Center as a precaution.

Burns quickly got dressed and was headed straight to the hospital.

"He's like a brother to me," said Burns, who filled in for Wilson. "This is bigger than the game. I have to go [to the hospital]. I can't sit around and worry."

Wilson was attempting to recover a fumble by punt returner Darrent Williams when he crashed into teammate Gerard Warren. Wilson briefly sat up twice and then went back down.

Several teammates gathered around him near the Broncos' sideline while the medical staff immobilized him and placed him on a stretcher.

Warren was sullen when talking about the collision.

"All I know is I ran off the field and looked back and just asked, 'Who was that on the field?"' Warren said. "They were like, 'That's Al.' I didn't [know I hit him]."

The Seahawks scored on four straight possessions -- a touchdown and three field goals -- after Wilson left the game.

"That's our leader," Williams said. "Not just on the defense, the team. Everybody responds to Al."

"I wish we could've brought this one home for him," safety John Lynch said.

Under normal circumstances, Burns wouldn't want to receive one of Wilson's postgame sermons about a loss. In this case, he couldn't wait.

"He'd expect more out of us," Burns said. "I think we let him down from that aspect. It's tough."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press