There is growing mystery over the reasons as to why Wes Welker is finding himself spending more time on the sidelines than he has been used to at the New England Patriots.
The 31-year old has found himself struggling for game time during the opening stages of the new season, and many football news experts reckon that the wide reciever could be on his way at the end of the campaign.
Brandon Lloyd has established himself as the Patriots number one wide receiver since his arrival in New England, and backup Julian Edelman has been improving every time he gets on the pitch.
As well as competition for his place, Welker may feel he is suffering for his off-season contract dispute with the Patriots; a dispute which could now see the four-time All-Pro member leave as a free agent at the end of the season.
There is another reason for the Patriots using the experienced wide receiver sparingly so far this season. Welker has shown over his career just what he is capable of.
The coaching staff may feel looking at other options at this point of the season is worth having a fully fit Welker available to play a big part in the second half of the year.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has insisted Welker is still an important part of this Patriots team, making it clear that the wide receiver would have a key role in the team this season.
“It just goes back to the fact that we feel like we’ve got a number of different guys that can contribute and help our offense and have earned the opportunities that they’re getting,” he told NFL news networks.
“There are a number of factors that go into our game plan every week, but certainly he is going to be a big part of our game plan each week.”