Sports

Josh McDaniels: Wes Welker ‘played a big role for us’

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels shed little light on Wes Welker’s confusing status as he reflected Tuesday on the Patriots’ Week 2 loss.

He joined coach Bill Belichick, and most around the Patriots, who publicly have shared little about why the team appeared to rely on Welker so little before Sunday’s injury to Aaron Hernandez.

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“I think Wes played a big role for us the other day,” McDaniels said, “I think it just goes back to 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. I think Wes, whatever it was, we threw the ball his way 12 or 13 times, or somewhere in that neighborhood (he was actually targeted 11 times). He made a number of big plays for us.”

Welker said Monday he was unsure about his role in the offense before the start of the game, and he ended up losing playing time to Julian Edelman. He played 77 percent of the offensive snaps, in part because Hernandez was hurt in the first quarter.

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“Each game plan ends up different,” McDaniels said. “Sometimes we play guys a majority of the game, other times we feel like using some different rotations may give us some advantages, whether that’s a matchup we end up with in the front, or a personnel grouping that we expect the defense to give us, or even formationally ourselves in terms of what we try to do.

“There’s a number of factors that go into our game plan every week, but certainly he’s going to be a big part of our game plan each week that we go in and play.”

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Belichick would not confirm the signing of tight end Kellen Winslow: “I’m not going to talk about any players that are not on the current, active roster.” He also said a report on injured tight end Aaron Hernandez -- presumably the reason Winslow has been signed -- would not come until after practice Wednesday, when the first injury report of the week is owed to the league.

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