‘We’re absolutely sick’

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In Oklahoma City, Leland Welker sat in front of his television today, like he does every Sunday, to watch his son Wes play for the Patriots. He has never felt like he does right now.

“Not too good,” Leland Welker said shortly after the fourth quarter started. “We’re sick. We’re absolutely sick. We take all those hits and stuff all season long. And then just one fluke cut, and he just blows it out.”

Leland Welker had not yet heard any word on the extent or nature of Welker’s injury. He just knew, like anyone who watched the play and Welker’s reaction, that it was not good. He hadn’t spoken to Welker, but his wife had.

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“He was really upset,” Leeland Welker said. “He didn’t feel like talking about it too much.”

Welker has had some injuries in his career. Two offseasons ago, he had minor ankle surgery to remove bone chips. Even going back to high school, though, he has never experienced an injury that caused him to be carried off the field.

“This is the worst we’ve ever encountered,” Leland Walker said.

One of the most jarring images was Welker, one of the toughest players in the league, dabbing at his eyes on the Patriots bench before a cart came and carried him away.

“I’ve seen him look like that before,” Leland Welker said. “It was always in a losing effort or something like that. It wasn’t a good sign.”

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