Tom Brady expects his former teammate Wes Welker to be on the field when the New England Patriots host the Denver Broncos on Sunday night.
“Yes, I do. I’ve been around him long enough to know what he’s all about,” Brady said during an interview with WEEI sports radio in Boston. “He loves playing football, and there’s a chance for him to play, and especially coming back here, he’s definitely going to be out there, I’ve got no question about that. … It would take an awful lot for him to miss this game.”
Welker suffered a concussion in Sunday’s 27-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs after making a 20-yard catch-and-run play in the fourth quarter, when he was tackled by Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey but also was hit in the helmet by safety Eric Berry.
“It’s my understanding that we followed protocol,” interim head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He was cleared to return and he had symptoms that flared up, or came up, and then he was pulled. So he’ll go through the protocol this week. The first concern, obviously, is to make sure he’s ready to return when the doctors give the green light. When we’ve been told that he’s able to go, then he’ll go. Until then, he’ll be following that protocol.”
Welker underwent a baseline concussion test on Monday and, by league rule, cannot return to full participation in practice until Friday at the earliest.
Welker, 31, spent six seasons with the Patriots before signing a two-year contract with the Broncos in the offseason.