During the latter half of the season last year, Wes Welker went down with a nasty injury that appeared to be career ending. It was one of those nasty knee injuries that make you cringe every time you see the replay.
After the Pats tanked in the playoffs, there was some talk about Welker's injury, his surgery, long road to recovery, etc.
Fast forward to today, and the freak of nature has been cleared to practice.
If you've been following his story, you know that he's been at camp early, doing all the drills and getting himself into football shape. The TV clips of him going through the tire runs and cone drills have been impressive, considering that his knee was torn up like a wave by a veteran surfer in Hawaii. Basically, it was shot. Totally shot.
As camp started and pre-season started becoming a reality, the Pats put Welker on the physically unable to perform list (PUP).
Now, being on the PUP typically means that the player is out for the season, but could potentially get back to action if timing and recovery is right.
Wekler is part of the latter group.
According to ESPN, the move increases the possibility that Welker will be on the field for the Patriots' season-opener Sept. 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Asked what it says about Welker that he's returned so quickly, Nick Caserio, the the team's director of player personnel, told ESPN: "He works hard, he's committed to football. ... Wes is a unique guy, there is no question about it. It's a tribute to him and his work ethic and competitiveness and toughness to get back on the field."
Unique isn't the word I'd use; maybe freak or more appropriately, football player.
Image Credit: ESPN
Article first published as Wes Welker a Freak of Nature on Technorati.