Wes Welker knows how to take a beating. As Tom Brady’s target of choice, Welker carried a bull’s eye on his back in addition to the No. 83. He was tackled, slammed and smacked hundreds of times during his six seasons in New England.
During the AFC championship game this past January, Bernard Pollard (amazingly no relation to Matt Cooke) earned himself a $15,250 fine for a head after a shot he delivered on Welker. Despite Pollard’s cheapshot, the woozy Welker held on to the ball. With the penalty, the ball moved from New England’s 25 to the Ravens’ 36.
Three plays later he dropped a pass that killed the Patriots’ chances to extend their 13-7 lead. Welker remained in the game and finished with eight catches for 117 yards in his final game as a Patriot. He did not acknowledge any injury after the game. But given what we continue to learning about concussions, it’s likely that particular hit will stick with him for a long time.