, Newburyport, MA


November 21, 2013

Three things to watch in Pats-Broncos matchup

First things first: When a very successful player, as in Wes Welker, leaves a place where he had so much success, it looks strange seeing that player in a different uniform.

To be honest, Welker looks like he’s always been a Denver Bronco, sort of like his quarterback, Peyton Manning (more on him later).

This Sunday Night Football game will be another classic at Gillette Stadium.

Here are three things to look for as Sunday at 8:30 p.m. couldn’t come sooner:

1. Welker’s conundrum

Everything about Wes Welker’s concussion last week against the Kansas City Chiefs is scary.

The fact that he went back into the game for one play soon afterward before leaving the game for good is one thing we must get answered.

The other is: Why would he even entertain the thought of playing against the New England Patriots on Sunday night?

Of course, I know the answer to the second part. He has been looking forward to this game since he signed with the Broncos in May. He is very bitter, maybe rightly so, about his departure from the Patriots and the way he was “treated” by coach Bill Belichick.

But concussions are not taken lightly any more. As we’ve heard and read a lot lately, players with “concussion syndrome” have done some bad things, a lot of times to themselves.

It was equally strange hearing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady say this yesterday, “He’s a tough guy so he’s played through everything. This is a big game for both teams so you have to expect their best players and I’m sure all those guys will be ready to go.”

Welker did not practice yesterday and was listed on the injury report as having a concussion and neck injury.

While it would be fun having Welker on the field, he can’t play, not if what we’ve heard and read is true, that he actually suffered a concussion.

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