Understatement of the year, Wes Welker is having a good season. The Patriots wide out already has 40 receptions for 616 yards and 5 TD’s in just four games. Welker is well on his way to yet another 100 catch season and a chance to break Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards record. But with Brady clearly choosing him as his favorite target, how much will Welker continue this pace? I’m not talking about skill, I’m talking about the physical punishment Welker receives each game. Catching an average of 10 balls a game is difficult. But when you weight “185” pounds and are getting thrown to the ground by heat seeking 220 pound safeties and 260 pound gorilla linebackers, your body is bound to break.
Welker has only missed three regular season games over the past six seasons. In three of those seasons, he has eclipsed the 100 catch mark three times. But this season is different. With the two young studs for tight ends, and average to above average wide receivers, Welker is Brady’s safety blanket. When ever he needs a big play he goes to little Wes. And up to this point in the season, Brady has really gone to Wes. Kind of too much, like a father throwing to his favorite son in a family touch football game.
And Welker has delivered and some on his end. But let’s be honest, he isn’t the hardest NFL player to tackle. Catching the ball 16 times is great, but getting pounded 10-16 times a game could mean early retirement.