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Wes Welker probable for return to New England

Baltimore Ravens v Denver Broncos Getty Images

It looks like Wes Welker will be making his return to Foxboro after all.

Welker’s status has been up in the air for most of the week because of a concussion suffered last Sunday night against the Chiefs, but he was listed as probable on the team’s final injury report of the week. Interim coach Jack Del Rio said that Welker has passed all the tests from independent neurologists necessary for him to get that listing, so there’s every reason to expect to see him catching passes from Peyton Manning in front of a crowd that may have to remind themselves not to cheer when he converts a key third down.

Tight end Julius Thomas was listed as questionable after a second straight limited practice. Even if Thomas is able to play through his knee injury, there’s a good chance that Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme will see more playing time than in most other weeks.

Cornerback Champ Bailey is also questionable, but the Broncos are otherwise a healthy team heading into their prime time date with the Patriots.

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36 Responses to “Wes Welker probable for return to New England”
  1. thepftpoet says: Nov 22, 2013 2:22 PM

    Still a better love story than twilight

  2. 3taintedchampionships2biglosses says: Nov 22, 2013 2:27 PM

    Hope he has the game of his life.

  3. weepingjebus says: Nov 22, 2013 2:28 PM

    Welker is a great player and I hope he’s healthy. Really looking forward to this; how many Brady v. Manning matchups are left out there for us at this point?

  4. tgil9 says: Nov 22, 2013 2:28 PM

    I am torn on JT – great in the passing game but a serious liability if the running game and pass protection. Needs to learn how to block better.

  5. tgil9 says: Nov 22, 2013 2:30 PM

    Coach John Fox said that Welker has passed all the tests from independent neurologists… It would be big news is Fox actually said this. I assume it was Del Rio.

  6. cookenbauer says: Nov 22, 2013 2:36 PM

    “Welker is a great player and I hope he’s healthy. Really looking forward to this; how many Brady v. Manning matchups are left out there for us at this point?”

    Hopefully twice this year. This Sunday and the AFCCG. The NFL will not be the same when one or both retire. Best rivalry in sports.

  7. dboldave says: Nov 22, 2013 2:39 PM

    No way he was missing this game. Besides, all that concussion stuff is a myth! Right up there with unicorns and dragons I tell ya! At least he gets so stick it to NE!

  8. harrisonhits2 says: Nov 22, 2013 2:42 PM

    Cue the mean ol’ Bill Belichick comments and how awful he was to Welker.

    Of course those will all ignore the following facts -

    1. No one was interested in Welker as an RFA except the Pats. Had Belichick not traded for Welker he would have remained trapped in QB hell in Miami.

    2. Belichick and Brady then made Welker the star he is today and the Pats paid him more than 26 million in his time in New England making him a wealthy man, far wealthier and far more of a star than if he had stayed a Dolphin.

    3. The Pats final offer to Welker this year was greater than what was being offered by the Broncos. Welker chose to make the move and cop an attitude.

  9. frostymugobeer says: Nov 22, 2013 2:42 PM

    Welker and the Broncos might just put up a 50burger on the Pats

  10. surfinbird1 says: Nov 22, 2013 2:46 PM

    This is all well and good ,but can we please have a moment of silence to honor the New York Jets on the one year anniversary of the once in a lifetime “Buttfumble” in the game between the Jets and the Patriots on Nov. 22 1912. Thank you Mark S.

  11. kevpft says: Nov 22, 2013 2:46 PM

    This is not smart. He just had a concussion. He should stay out longer.

    Sure, it’s a big game, but it’s just a game. Denver’s critical AFC standing is decided next week, not this week.

    Welker’s not going to lose his job if he sits, and the team still has plenty of offensive options. To me, this is like rushing Jay Cutler back, but worse, since it’s a neurological issue.

  12. 4thquartermagic says: Nov 22, 2013 2:48 PM

    Wonder how big an applause Wes will get from the fans at Gillette.

    Not like he wanted out, the Pats just low-balled him.

    I hope he goes for 100+ and 2 tds.

  13. nesportsfan0428 says: Nov 22, 2013 2:54 PM

    It’s gonna be 20 degrees with a wind chill of 9 on Sunday too.

    Who-ever you root for, all football fans win watching this game.

  14. jelway7 says: Nov 22, 2013 2:56 PM

    Glad to see Welker will play. We need him. Go Broncos!

  15. yoc19 says: Nov 22, 2013 2:59 PM

    Manning vs. Brady

    Career Won-Lost Record (includes Postseason)
    Manning – 172-82, .677% +90wins
    Brady – 160-49, .766%, An NFL Record +111 wins

    Post Season Record –
    Manning 9-11, .450% 8 one & Dones
    Brady 17-7, .708% 2 one & Dones (All time record for most playoff wins)

    Head to Head –
    Manning 27 TD’s, 19 INT, 86.7 Passer Rating
    Brady 23 TD’s, 12 INT, 95.3 Passer Rating
    Brady holds a 9-4 W-L edge, 2-1 in playoffs

    AFC Champ Appearances –
    Manning – 3 in 14 seasons as a starter
    Brady – 7 in 11 seasons as a starter

    SB Appearances –
    Manning – 2
    Brady – 5

    Championships
    Manning -1
    Brady- 3

  16. cornerstone2001 says: Nov 22, 2013 3:03 PM

    I smell trouble. Welker I doubt passed any concussion/neck tests this fast. They’re pushing for him to play cuz its the Pats. He’s in danger of getting a more serious concussion, especially cause he runs over the middle and is a smurf.
    Not worth it Wes.

  17. richiebburg says: Nov 22, 2013 3:08 PM

    Funny commercials
    Manning-15
    Brady-0

  18. somethingsmellsrotten says: Nov 22, 2013 3:14 PM

    Looking forward to the day both of these egomaniacal divas are gone…good riddance.

  19. randomjoeblow says: Nov 22, 2013 3:20 PM

    The only question is whether New England can pressure Manning — if they get close, he’ll do his normal “throwing it away” and never get hit or called for grounding…which is how he’s succeeded his entire career..

  20. digiovanni45 says: Nov 22, 2013 3:29 PM

    A number of Pats will not admit they loved Wes Welker, I’m not one. I loved the way Welker played here in New England, but he did cop an attitute the last few years an started to some crap the Patriots don’t appreciate and I believe he wanted the Patriots to pay him real big and he probably deserved it, but the Patriots operate without emotion when it comes to building their team. Who can argue with this team, best record in the entire NFL over the last 12 years. They did offer a better contract but Welker choose Denver because he did not want to take a chance with an average QB. He’s a great player, but he has taken some vicious during his career and only time will tell how this guy will be in 10 years. No I don’t wish Welker to have a great game on Sunday but I will always love the way this guy played and respect his ability because he is a great player, but when your good, guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady can make you look spectacular. Let’s not be naive about these things. I enjoy the NFL period.

  21. shaggymarrs says: Nov 22, 2013 3:31 PM

    Manning vs. Brady

    Career Won-Lost Record (includes Postseason)
    Manning – 172-82, .677% +90wins
    Brady – 160-49, .766%, An NFL Record +111 wins

    Post Season Record –
    Manning 9-11, .450% 8 one & Dones
    Brady 17-7, .708% 2 one & Dones (All time record for most playoff wins)

    Head to Head –
    Manning 27 TD’s, 19 INT, 86.7 Passer Rating
    Brady 23 TD’s, 12 INT, 95.3 Passer Rating
    Brady holds a 9-4 W-L edge, 2-1 in playoffs

    AFC Champ Appearances –
    Manning – 3 in 14 seasons as a starter
    Brady – 7 in 11 seasons as a starter

    SB Appearances –
    Manning – 2
    Brady – 5

    Championships
    Manning -1
    Brady- 3
    ___________________________________

    Well, I guess it’s a good thing that they aren’t out on the field at the same time.

  22. j0esixpack says: Nov 22, 2013 3:39 PM

    harrisonhits2 says: Cue the mean ol’ Bill Belichick comments and how awful he was to Welker.

    Of course those will all ignore the following facts -

    1. No one was interested in Welker as an RFA except the Pats.

    2. Belichick and Brady then made Welker the star he is today and the Pats paid him more than 26 million in his time in New England

    3. The Pats final offer to Welker this year was greater than what was being offered by the Broncos. Welker chose to make the move and cop an attitude.

    ————————–

    All correct and good points.

    That being said, Welker obviously did not feel appreciated by the Patriots and chose to take LESS money to play for another contender rather than remain with the Patriots – and NE Fans and even players may feel a little jilted.

    While Welker failed to make the 2 catches that ultimately count (2 catches which would have secured Brady and the Patriots as the greatest of all time – 5 of 5 SBs in 10 years and a 19-0 Perfect Season) in this day and age of “show me the money” Welker turned his back on several million to go elsewhere.

    Ironically, while Welker turned down more money from the Patriots to play for the Broncos, it seems as though the lack of a previous long-term contract from the Patriots is what soured his relationship with Belichick.

  23. gisellichek says: Nov 22, 2013 3:44 PM

    It doesn’t matter who’s better since 2001… (it is meaningless unless they are both retired and are at a golf tournament or something 10 years from now… )

    Broncos 38- Pats 28…

  24. edithpiaf51 says: Nov 22, 2013 3:45 PM

    I sure hope and pray that Wes Welker is healthy enough to play against the Pats and that the MRI showed that he is ok. He is a great player and a class act.

  25. jjackwagon says: Nov 22, 2013 3:56 PM

    For his own health, Welker should sit, but I hope he plays because I don’t want Donkey fans to use him as the excuse when they lose the next two.

  26. patfanken says: Nov 22, 2013 4:07 PM

    Its not going to be a surprise to me when Denver, who has to sign Decker and Thomas his off season, show their appreciation to Wes, by asking him to take a cut from his $6MM salary due him 2014. It will be either take or cut or BE cut

    Most people don’t realize that Denver has a couple of weeks, after the season before they have to guarantee the 2nd year of his contract. Something he wouldn’t have had to deal with had he taken the deal with the Pats.

    The truth is the Pats DID offer him the better deal, just not the one he wanted. His problem by the time he realized it, the Pats had to move on Amendola.

    BTW- the Broncos better win on Sunday., What will it say about them if they lose to a Pats team that has 3/4′s of their starting defense either out or still very questionable.

  27. Patskrieg dot com says: Nov 22, 2013 4:07 PM

    I’ll give that a Joe Swanson “BRING IT ONNNNNN!!!”

    But really, Wes is the greatest. They never should have let him walk.

  28. tedmurph says: Nov 22, 2013 4:11 PM

    Welker didn’t choose to take less money and leave. After Welker got Denver’s offer, he called Kraft and asked the Pats to match it. The Pats had already moved on to Amendola. Welker’s agent misreading the market is the main reason Welker isn’t here anymore. If he felt underappreciated, it was because his agent asked for a contract way above market value, then got stuck without a chair when the music stopped. They paid him 9.4 mil the yr before with the franchise tag. They have Amendola for 5 yrs. I still think in the long haul the deal works out for the Pats. Not so much this yr.

  29. azarkhan says: Nov 22, 2013 4:24 PM

    harrisonhits2 says: 2. Belichick and Brady then made Welker the star he is today and the Pats paid him more than 26 million in his time in New England

    Really? So Brady/Belichick caught 100+ passes 5 out of 6 seasons, Brady/Belichick broke all those tackles, Brady/Belichick ran for all those yards after catch, Brady/Belichick scored all those TD’s, Brady/Belichick took all those hits from the opponents defensive players? Wow, Brady/Belichick are something else!

    $26 million? BFD! Mike Wallace signed for over $60 million with the Dolphins and you can find many other wide receivers making more money than Wes Welker who aren’t nearly the receiver he is.

    Wes Welker is not a slot receiver. Wes Welker is a great receiver who got shafted by the Patriots. Period.

  30. somethingsmellsrotten says: Nov 22, 2013 4:24 PM

    Can’t wait until both those egomaniacal divas are gone and out of the league.

  31. thermanmerman99 says: Nov 22, 2013 4:25 PM

    will goodell order NE not to pass rush lord manning in this game like he ordered KC not to pass rush and get within 5 yards of the lord manning last game? anybody with a brain can see that KC was under direct orders not to rush manning and hit him. this will continue for the rest of the year. if anybody dares get within 5 yards of lord manning, a flag will be thrown for breatheing near him. does anybody honestly think that goodell and the league wont do everything in their power to get manning to the superbowl this year?

  32. ratsfoiledagain says: Nov 22, 2013 4:38 PM

    harrisonhits2 says: Nov 22, 2013 2:42 PM

    Cue the mean ol’ Bill Belichick comments and how awful he was to Welker.

    Of course those will all ignore the following facts -

    1. No one was interested in Welker as an RFA except the Pats. Had Belichick not traded for Welker he would have remained trapped in QB hell in Miami.

    2. Belichick and Brady then made Welker the star he is today and the Pats paid him more than 26 million in his time in New England making him a wealthy man, far wealthier and far more of a star than if he had stayed a Dolphin.

    3. The Pats final offer to Welker this year was greater than what was being offered by the Broncos. Welker chose to make the move and cop an attitude.
    ———————–
    You don’t truly know why Welker left. You think you do but, you only know what the organization and the player state publicly.

    Additionally, it doesn’t matter that the Pats paid him 26 mill. He fulfilled those contracts. You act as if he should be grateful to be a NE Patriot. Maybe NE should have been grateful they had Welker because the receivers couldn’t catch ice if they fell on a glacier earlier this year.

  33. tedmurph says: Nov 22, 2013 5:52 PM

    Welker IS a slot receiver, a 32 yr old one. Slot receivers don’t make the same money as premium outside receivers, that’s how it is. Comparing Welker money to Wallace money is ridiculous. The highest paid slot receiver in the league is VCruz, who makes about 8.5/yr and is 5 yrs younger than Welker.

  34. lanman11 says: Nov 22, 2013 5:57 PM

    Welker over estimated his value. He actually had no offers there for a while until Elway called, and even then, they dropped their offer to him. I hear all this whining about how the Patriots, who offered him millions more than Denver did, some how cheated him, yet I hear nothing about how DENVER took advantage of the situation and LOW BALLED Welker when it looked like he might not have any suitors. I recall initially Welker was to get a lot more money from Denver but then the truth came out that they had used his situation against him.

    The Patriots were trying to be smart, but still offered him more, because of what he had contributed. However, it’s human nature once the Goldilocks syndrome sets in and you have no appreciation for what you have in your hands, to want to “show them” and storm out, which is kinda what Welker did. Do you remember the look on Welkers face in those early days right after he signed with Denver and the media couldn’t wait to get him on camera to rip the Pats, but instead he had that deer in the headlights look of “oh man I really screwed up – I can’t believe I let this happen.” ??? Remember? That was all I needed to see to tell me what his mind set was. I’m not bad mouthing him. I’m simply pointing out he is human like the rest of us, and you can’t hide what’s inside, especially in emotional moments like that. I’m sure he wanted to retire in NE and I’m sure the fans feel the same way. A lot is made of the passes that got away, but the guy was generally nails and much appreciated by all. Best of luck to him off the field, and hopefully he does not suffer from his concussions, because he is clearly skirting the issue to get back on the field.

  35. marcuswelby1 says: Nov 22, 2013 7:31 PM

    somethingsmellsrotten says:
    Nov 22, 2013 3:14 PM
    Looking forward to the day both of these egomaniacal divas are gone…good riddance.

    ————————————————-

    Only a Jets fan could say something that absurd!

  36. RE LEE says: Nov 22, 2013 11:12 PM

    It might just need an ex-pats to beat the pats. Just hope Wes would be o.k.– we still are fond of Wes. As for the brady-manning rivalry. Manning only need to beat brady 5 more times to even out the score. He is still chasing brady. Maybe the two elites will play a few more years to give us this thrilling brady-manning match ups.

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