During last week's Patriots-Steelers game, New England WR Wes Welker took an enormous hit over the middle from Steelers' safety Ryan Clark, a hit that looked like it broke Welker in half. Welker was able to walk off the field after the hit, but didn't return to the game. Clark was hit with a 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty, although the NFL later said that the flag was unwarranted and it was a legal hit.
Going over the middle is what Wes Welker does and he's very, very good at it. After tying for the league lead in receptions last year with 112, Welker is second in the league this season with 84, only four catches behind Andre Johnson. If you're good at math, you'll realize that Welker is on pace to finish this season with...exactly 112 receptions. Nice.
However, you have to wonder if Welker can keep up that pace. The latest news out of Foxboro is that Welker is OK and is expected to start this Sunday against Seattle. But I wonder how his head is doing. He's a tough guy without a doubt, but is he going to be able to run those same exposed routes without flinching? Is he going to hear footsteps bearing down on him -- whether they're there or not? It wouldn't be surprising if it happened, at least for his first game back.