Wes Welker inactive for today’s game. (Elsa / Getty Images)
The Patriots receiving corps takes a hit with Wes Welker (knee) inactive for today’s game. On the flip side, Julian Edelman (ankle) is not among the eight scratches and, having warmed up on the field earlier, it appears he’s healthy enough to go today.
Welker was one of the first players on the field for the Patriots and was spotted over near the team’s bench, where he appeared animated (seemed good-natured from our vantage point high above the field) while talking with members of the coaching staff.
Welker soon departed for the locker room as other players came on the field to begin loosening up.
Not too many other surprises with the inactives. Offensive lineman Dan Connolly (back), cornerback Terrence Wheatley (knee), and defensive back Matthew Slater (elbow) had been downgraded to out last night as they recover from injuries.
Offensive linemen Rich Ohrnberger and Kendall Simmons are scratches again this week, but the Patriots have numbers at that position. Tight end Michael Matthews also won’t dress, but he didn’t play a single snap last week (with Matt Light used as a third tight end in power packages, and Nick Kaczur lined up there once as well).
After being inactive last week, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and defensive lineman Myron Pryor join the active list this week, providing depth at those positions.
In Welker’s absence, receiver Joey Galloway likely gets a few more balls his way and, after going catchless last week, he’ll likely be the one the Patriots lean on without Welker (12 catches last week).
Depending on his health, Edelman has a chance to have a real impact in his first NFL regular-season game. Regardless of his health, he might have to be a factor considering the Patriots will dress just four healthy receivers in Galloway, Edelman, Randy Moss, and Sam Aiken.