FOXBOROUGH -- Wes Welker knows the painful process Kevin Faulk will face in his recovery from a season-ending torn right ACL the veteran running back suffered in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 28-14 loss to the Jets.
Welker said he was ready to offer whatever ``expert'' advice he could to Faulk, who was placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Faulk will undergo surgery a month from now after the swelling has gone down.
``I kind of told him the first couple of days were really the worst, not only mentally but physically and things like that,'' said Welker, who returned to the field this season after his own miraculous recovery from a catastrophic left ACL injury suffered in last season's finale at Houston. ``I was just trying to encourage him through those times. I told him if he had any questions or anything, I feel like I'm an expert on it.
``You work so hard to get to this point to play football, something you love,'' Welker added. ``And all of a sudden, it's kind of taken from you and there's nothing you can do about it, so it's definitely kind of a tough time in trying to move forward from it.''
Welker said he was unaware of the severity of Faulk's injury when it occurred.
``I didn't know exactly what had happened, or what the deal was, or if he just got kind of bruised up,'' Welker said. ``I figured he'd be OK, because he's always bounced back from stuff like that, the way he kind of hopped up to his feet. It's just one of those things, such a freak deal, but it's just part of the game.''
So who will step up in Faulk's absence on those crucial third downs?
``I think everybody has to pick it up,'' Welker said. ``Kevin was a huge loss, especially on those third downs, so I think everybody's going to have to pick it up and pick up the slack where Kevin was such an integral of our offense and make some plays on those key downs.''