Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio revealed Sunday morning that Welker passed his physical and will return to the field for the team’s morning practice.
While the move was expected, it’s a significant step for an organization that uses the active/PUP list as carefully as any team. The Patriots usually won’t take a player off the list until they are absolutely sure he’s “full go” and there’s no chance they could need to use the designation later.
A few months back, many thought Welker would miss the season’s first six weeks on the reserve/PUP list. This move makes it appear Welker is on track to return for the team’s opener. NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi writes he wouldn’t expect Welker to play in the preseason until the team’s third game.