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The Return of Wes

2 catches for 20 yards.

It may not seem like much, but those numbers mean one thing: Wes Welker is back. He only played one series in the Patriots second preseason game (beating the Falcons 28 to 10) but it marked his first live game action since his horrendous knee injury against the Texans in week 17 of last season.

So called “experts” were sure that this injury would have devastating effects on Welker. Many questioned whether he would be able to play at all in the 2010 season. Some even thought that his career might be in jeopardy, primarily because his unique stop-and-go playing style would seem to take more of a toll on the knees and cause more of a problem than for the average NFL player trying to come back from an injury.

But on Thursday night, what we saw was not a player who had any trace of a limp, any difficulty making cuts and getting off the line, or any hesitance or fear to take a hit. We saw typical Wes Welker.

Randy Moss may get more touchdowns and long passes, but at this point, Wes Welker is the best receiver on the Patriots. He is Tom Brady’s security blanket. Whenever he needs to, Brady get unleash a quick throw to Welker for a guaranteed 7 or 8 yards. He is never afraid to take a hit, and he has a passion for winning as strong as anyone on the Patriots (and the NFL).

Wes Welker will win the 2010 Comeback Player of the Year, and he will be a pro bowler every year for the next 5 years, at least.

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