If anyone knows what Patriots running back Kevin Faulk is going through today, it’s Wes Welker. After suffering a season-ending knee injury in January, Welker had surgery in the offseason and worked his way back in time for the start of the season.
Anytime Welker sees a teammate or even an opponent get hurt, it brings back memories for the seventh-year receiver. During the preseason when St. Louis Rams receiver Donnie Avery was carted off the field with a torn ACL, Welker was one of the first players over to the cart to wish him the best.
“You really feel for guys whenever they go down like that,” Welker said. “You don’t know what’s happening, but you’re always hoping for the best and hoping they bounce back from it. … I felt bad for [Avery] because doctors were there and they knew [he tore his ACL]. It’s a long process and you never know what’s going to happen.”
We caught up with Welker and offensive lineman Matt Light earlier today at the Boston Sports Stars For One Family Golf Tournament at the Willowbend Country Club in Mashpee. They were among a host of celebrities participating in the event that benefited One Family, Inc., a not-for-profit that promotes long-term solutions that break the cycle of poverty and homelessness for families living in Massachusetts.
Before reports surfaced this afternoon that Faulk was going to be out for the year, Welker addressed what the veteran running back means to the Patriots.
“Kevin is such a unique player,” Welker siad. “He’s such a great match up for us against teams and not only that he’s a great leader and a great guy. Whenever you put him in the game, [opponents] don’t know if we’re going to go empty and throw the ball around, which he’s almost like a receiver out there and the great thing about him is that he can play running back too. It creates a problem for them of what personnel they want to put in the game. He’s definitely a great player for us, and I hope everything turns out alright for him.”
But can a player play through a torn ACL?
Welker said a quarterback may be able to get through with a torn ACL, but it is tough for other players to try.
“I had a quarterback in college who actually played with it before, but skill position, there’s really no way,” Welker said. “… I really couldn’t imagine myself trying to cut off of it. It would just be tough.”
Light also was asked about Faulk’s impact on the Patriots’ offense.
“Kevin’s a huge part of our offense,” Light said. “That’s obvious. Hopefully, everything works out with him and he can come back and join us, but if not, we’ve got to move on.
“We’ve done it before, unfortunately. Never without Kevin, though. Kevin has always a kind of mainstay, so that’s a tough loss if he ends up missing time and obviously means a great deal to our offense.”