FOXBORO (CBS) — Is something strange going on with the Patriots and Wes Welker? It seemed that may be the case on Monday morning, though as is always the case with the Patriots, finding any potential problem would require looking through several layers of mystery.
Welker missed some practice time last week in Tampa, and he didn’t play at all in Friday night’s preseason game, despite most offensive starters playing through the third quarter. The receiver said his absence was not due to injury.
“A lot of it is personal issues, so I’ll just leave it at that and let coach [Bill] Belichick take care of everything else,” Welker said.
Welker Cites ‘Personal Issues’ For Absence
When asked to clarify that it was not an injury that kept him off the field, Welker offered little more.
“I mean, I think you can just talk to Coach on that,” Welker said.
Reporters then asked Belichick about Welker’s status.
“Day to day,” Belichick said.
When asked to clarify if it was an injury or something else, Belichick repeated himself.
“It’s day to day,” he said.
Monday’s intrigue came just after news of the Patriots inking a long-term extension with tight end Aaron Hernandez. The immediate thought from many media members and fans was whether that meant Welker’s days in New England were numbered. The wide receiver and the team were far apart in contract negotiations this offseason, and the sides ultimately agreed to work this year with the franchise tag placed on Welker.
Welker told reporters that he’s happy for Hernandez and that the tight end is “a great player and he’s done a lot of great things for us,” but he wouldn’t discuss how the extension of Hernandez affects his own situation.
“I think you have to ask Coach Belichick that,” Welker said when asked about the situation. “I’m just going out here trying to do my job to the best of my ability and let everything else take care of myself.”
Welker did say he won’t let any contract discussion affect him or his approach.
“I’m under contract,” Welker said. “I played out my last deal, and I’ll play out this one, and we’ll see where we’re at.”