When the New England Patriots open the season at home against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 12, they expect to see WR Wes Welker out on the field lining up in the slot and catching passes from Tom Brady. In the Musket Fire site poll, 64% feel that Wes Welker will be ready to play Week One. Wes has been partially taking part in OTA’s and mini-camp, catching passes, doing agility drills, and making cuts while running routes. After he finished his drills with his teammates, he went with some trainers to continue his rehab. However, the fact that only months removed from ACL surgery he is out on the field making cuts is an encouraging sign. I can’t say that I’m 100% certain Wes will be out on the field for the Bengals game, but I don’t think that he will have to be placed on the PUP list to start the season.
If Wes is available to start the season (or at least not on the PUP list), that will have an effect on other players on the roster. It is likely with Wes available that one or more of the veteran trio of David Patten, Tory Holt, or Sam Aiken will be cut. I would expect Patten likely being the first on the chopping block due to his age and lack of usefulness on special teams, which Aiken excels in. Holt has already assumed a mentoring role for the younger receivers so I would imagine that he would be the last of those three to be cut. Also, he is the most skilled receiver out of the bunch.
When will we know Wes’ fate? When training camp opens July 28 and 29, we should know whether Welker will be on the PUP list. After that, if he’s not on the list, his progress and participation in camp will be closely monitored.