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From the Hart: Welker's ankle issues

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Though he's missed little game action this season, and is third in the NFL with 66 catches after nine games, Welker has clearly been dealing with ankle issues for quite some time.

No. 83 first appeared on the injury report on Oct. 10, limited for that Wednesday practice with what was listed as an ankle injury. That was the first practice of the week following the previous Sunday's win over the Broncos. Welker has been limited with that ankle injury ever since.

But things seemed to get worse on a short fourth-quarter reception against the Rams in London, a play that was actually wiped out on a penalty. Welker caught the pass in the left flat, and seemed to roll his left ankle forward as he went to the turf and was slow to get up.

After the bye week, Welker was back in his usual spot in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Bills. Despite a couple uncharacteristic drops, Welker seemed to be moving well. That is, until the end of a 23-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter after which he was again slow to get up. After limping back across the field to the Patriots bench favoring the left ankle, he was met by Dr. Thomas Gill and the team's training staff. But that sideline trip was short lived as he returned to the field a play later and finished the drive.

Sunday night, Comcast Sports Net New England reported that Welker had X-rays on his ankle.

This month-long issue certainly is worth watching. Welker has easily been the most consistently productive member of the passing attack all fall.

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