Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker really stepped up and produced earlier this season when tight end Aaron Hernandez was inactive due to his high ankle sprain. What will the Patriots do without both of them? That question might need an answer this Sunday against the Colts.
Hernandez is not expected to play because of his bum ankle. This will be his sixth missed game this season, including three straight. Welker has an ankle problem of his own. He didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday before putting in a limited practice Friday. He is listed as questionable.
We're used to seeing Welker listed as questionable on the Friday injury report; that's what the Patriots do with basically every player. But it's for real this time. He has been nagged by the injury all season, and he aggravated it with less than five minutes left in Sunday's win over in the Bills. I'm surprised this wasn't a bigger story during the week. If you watched the game, it was clear that Welker had to hobble off the field after his 23-yard catch-and-run late in that one. The Patriots don't play until 4:25 p.m. Eastern, so have a Plan B available.
I don't know what to do with Hernandez. He has practiced in each of the past two weeks -- albeit limited -- but he still can't get healthy. This is really disconcerting, and to predict when Hernandez will play again is an exercise in futility at this point.