Wes Welker Makes Surprise Appearance at Patriots OTA
Welker was in uniform and taking part in individual drills as the Patriots went through their organized team activities on Wednesday, a surprising development that has him back on the field way ahead of schedule. Welker wore a knee brace, but, according to Albert Breer of the Boston Globe, he looked "swift and agile during a cone drill, cutting and weaving in a "W" shape."
Welker didn't take part in the team drills that followed the positional workouts, but Breer still called the day's work significant. That seems like an appropriate choice since the day started with just about every interested party assuming that Welker's status for the start of the season, the first six weeks in fact, was in serious doubt because of the injury.
The nature of knee injuries like Welker's is that you test it, wait to see how it responds and then make next steps from there. If there's pain or swelling, things get slowed down and you repeat the first step before taking the second one. But making the first step in May makes it a lot more likely that you'll be taking the second, third and fourth ones by the time the season rolls around and the timetable for a full Welker return is certainly a lot rosier than it was before Wednesday's workout.
Perhaps we should have all learned our lesson on doubting Welker when he went from an undrafted, 5-foot-9 afterthought to being an All-Pro with more than 100 catches in each of the last three seasons.