Brady said he could not tell yet if Julian Edelman will simply fill in for Welker, or if the Patriots will use a committee approach to finding an over-the-middle threat to complement Moss. Certain matchups against the Ravens, Brady said, will dictate some of that.
As for the long term, Brady knows the challenge Welker is facing. Welker's ACL and MCL tears are the same that Brady suffered last season, the same he returned from this year. The injury will likely be more difficult for Welker to overcome because his ability is predicated on quick cuts and rapid accelleration. For example, Brady pointed out that he can wear a knee brace, a device that would inhibit Welker.
"We’re all going to get through it," Brady said. "He’s going to get through it. He’s just that kind of person. He’s just a fighter. He’s always been a fighter. He’s going to attack whatever he needs to do as hard as he can. That’s why he’s always been successful. You never bet against a guy like Wes, because his heart and commitment to what it takes is stronger than just about anybody else’s. We talked a little bit, but he’s going to fight through it. I’m sure there’s going to be a day or two when he’s pissed off. Because he loves competing so much, that’s going to be the hard part for him, hopefully for the next month."
Brady was asked to elaborate on how it could possibly be a good thing to endure.
"I think it makes you realize a lot of things about your career and what it means when you are out there," Brady said. "You’re definitely very grateful every time you walk off the field feeling good. Football, it’s a very non-forgiving game. You never know when that play is going to come. How many times has Wes made that cut over the course of his career? Sure enough, it’s just this one time where the foot doesn’t land right.
"How many times have I stood in the pocket with a blitzer coming? It’s one of those situations where it doesn’t stop for anybody. It rolls right on. But we love Wes. We love the commitment he’s made to us. Believe me, we’re all going to make that commitment to him. In the short term, we’re going to get over it real quick. We should be over it now. You realize we played a game without him yesterday, and that’s just the way it’s going to be."
Brady also addressed the reports that he is playing with broken or cracked ribs and a broken right ring finger.
"What does the injury report say?" Brady said. "I’m feeling really good now. I’m feeling really good. Everyone breaks bones over the course of the year. I’m feeling pretty good. This is the best I’ve felt in a while."