Wes Welker signed with the Denver Broncos

New England Patriots loss Wes Welker

New England’s Season Takes Another Hit Before It Starts

The New England Patriots lost their most proficient receiver to free agency, when Wes Welker signed a contract with the Denver Broncos.  They were hopeful that Rob Gronkowski, their pro-bowl tight end would be fully recovered from surgery to be 100% on opening day.  It’s all beginning to unravel.

“Gronk” will have to have a 4th surgery on his left arm.  A metallic plate had been inserted, and infection requires its removal.  If another plate is inserted, a 10 week recovery will be necessary, and may result in his being unable to play at the start of the season.  Doctors believe an option of not removing the plate, and treating the infection may be possible, but if it is not successful, and the delayed procedure becomes necessary, he could miss the first part of the season.

There are conflicting reports.  Inside sources in the Patriot organization say that the surgery is necessary because antibiotic treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital have produced questionable results.  This would be the 4th surgery on the arm.

The Patriots are a “pass first” team.  They are prone to use the pass to set up their ground game.  Last season “Gronk” caught 55 passes for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 2011, a non-injury season, he caught 90 passes for 1327 yards and 17 touchdowns.  Only Welker had more receptions and yardage than “Gronk”, with 122 receptions for 1,569 yards.

Opening day is 5 months away.  Several teams have lost or gained high profile players, thanks to free agency.  The NFL draft is drawing near, and interest will be heightened by the needs of teams such as the Patriots.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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