Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe reports that Wes Welker‘s diminished role in the Patriots offense has nothing to do with an injury. Instead, it appears that Welker’s reduced role has been due to a coaches decision, as he was benched for WR Julian Edelman.
“You know, you want to be out there,” Welker said, via Bedard. “I think as a competitor and everything else, especially on Sundays, it’s what we play for and what we work for and you want to be out there. At the same time, coach [Bill Belichick] felt like whatever was best for the team and I’m for that and I totally understand that and I’m just there to help out however I can.”
Welker did see a lot more playing time in the second half yesterday in the team’s 20-18 loss to the Cardinals, but that was only after Aaron Hernandez left the game yesterday with an ankle injury. The Patriots were forced to use more three-WR looks, which allowed Welker to play as the slot receiver. If Hernandez misses a significant amount of time, expect Welker’s role increase from what it was in week 1.