It wasn’t that long ago that conventional wisdom said Wes Welker would miss a big chunk of the season after undergoing ACL surgery in February.
Yet there he was Thursday night, playing preseason football on artificial turf against the Falcons. Welker played only one series Thursday night, so Tom Brady made sure his slot receiver got plenty of action.
Welker didn’t start, but played six snaps on the Patriots’ opening series. He caught a six-yard pass on his first play, and then grabbed a 14-yarder on the next one. Tom Brady threw the second pass behind Welker; otherwise, the play could have gone for more yardage.
The Patriots continued to feed Welker on the next play, but Randy Moss whiffed on a block and Welker was flattened on a quick toss. The ball fell incomplete and Welker stayed on the field for three more uneventful snaps.
It’s hard to draw many conclusions from six plays, but Welker’s presence alone provides a huge boost to a Patriots offense that should look a lot different in 2010. (Think lots of two tight end sets.)