Will Wes Welker get a fresh start now that Hernandez is out for weeks?
If one of the Patriots’ Swiss Army Knives Julian Edelman gets cut this week, its pretty much safe to say it’s because he took out one of the team’s superstars.
Edelman rolled up underneath tight end Aaron Hernandez’s ankle during Sunday’s loss against the Arizona Cardinals as he made his way downfield after catching a screen pass from Tom Brady.
It’s seriously doubtful that he’ll get the boot but he has to be somewhat in coach Bill Belichick’s infamous doghouse after he clumsily injured a team focal point that just got a nice contract extension.
According to reports, Hernandez is done until “at least” October which puts the Patriots’ hard to defend two tight end sets on hold for the time being.
He’ll deny it if you ask him but this is good news for wide receiver Wes Welker who will get more targets by default of the circumstances; or maybe not.
Welker was demoted on the depth chart behind Edelman for Sunday’s game. It what was something that he told Boston’s WEEI, that he sort of saw coming.
“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen,” Welker said. “So I just go out there, and whenever my number’s called, I go out and play. … I don’t know. It is what it is. Coaches coach, players play. That’s all I can do.”
“We got a good team and some good players, and (offensive balance is) good to have,” Welker said. “If we have to rely on me to make 120 catches, it’s not where we want to be as an offense. We have some guys that really stepped up and it’s good to have those guys out there and making plays for us.”
On Monday quarterback Tom Brady continued to defend Welker’s role on the team as he did last week.
“We don’t sit there and overanalyze it after two games the way that you guys (in the media do),” Brady said. “I mean, there’s different weeks where we have personnel groupings and we use them differently, and we throw the ball a little bit more, some weeks when we run the ball a little bit more and it’s just one of those games when we actually threw the ball way more than we wanted to throw it, it was just the way it was dictated.
“Wes is a big part of our offense, he had a big game yesterday, had some really critical catches for us. Brandon (Lloyd) did, Julian did, (Rob Gronkowski) did. All the guys that were out there were contributing. And we’re going to need, now that Aaron’s not in there, we’re going to need other guys to play a bigger role.”
Hernandez or no Hernandez, there is something that has gone on that has placed Welker on the dark side of the moon with the coaching staff and front office.
He may see more field time but with running back Steven Ridley stepping up and a bevy of stars such as Brandon Lloyd for offensive mastermind Josh McDaniels to play with, to think that Welker will return to first look status is naive.