BOSTON (CBS) – It’s starting to look like Wes Welker is going to be a no-show for the Patriots in their third preseason game on Friday night in Tampa against the Buccaneers.

He was on the sideline watching, but Welker did not participate in practice for the second day in a row on Thursday. The pro bowl receiver did not play in Monday’s preseason game against the Eagles, and hasn’t participated in a practice with the team since the middle of last week.

If Wes doesn’t play, expect Julian Edelman to see some time which will be good for Julian.  He’s had a solid camp, but it would be nice to see how he’s progressed as a receiver. Rookie Jeremy Ebert may get a bump in the depth chart as well for Friday’s game.

This will also be another chance for veterans Donte’ Stallworth and Deion Branch to make their case for the team, with Deion holding the slight edge after his performance against the Eagles on Monday.

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

Others not at practice on Thursday were defensive back Ross Ventrone, safety Will Allen, Wide Receiver Jabar Gafney, safety Patrick Chung, offensive tackle Matt Kopa, linebacker Tracy White, defensive lineman Gerard Warren and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.

Coach Remains Happy

Thursday was the second day in a row that Bill Belichick took the podium in Tampa in good spirits. Coach was very happy with the way practice went on Wednesday.

“I thought it was a good day for us yesterday. I think we got a lot done and improved our team,” Belichick said. “Saw a lot of things out there that we haven’t seen, and of course, competing against another team is good for us. So we spent a lot of time last night going over the film with the players as a staff, as part of critiquing ourselves — as coaches and what we need to do better and also the players and how they competed against each other and the different matchups we saw in practice. ”

Coach told the media, that his plans for the afternoon were going to be different from Wednesday but he still expects the players on both sides to get the most from the experience.

The D.A. Show: Levan Reid On Demps, Stallworth and Lloyd

“I spoke with Coach Schiano and we have some things planned for today that we want to try to get accomplished, and I’m sure we’ll have another great day out there. The Bucs are great to work with, the facilities here are outstanding. Their staff and players have been very cooperative. It’s been very competitive, but at the same time, mutually beneficial. We’re getting a lot out of it. Hopefully we’ll have another good day today.”

Follow Levan Reid on and on Twitter @LevanReid all Patriots’ season long! 


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