FOXBORO -- Wes Welker returned to practice Monday after missing Friday night's game with the Bucs.The Patriots wide receiver was a focal point in the Patriots locker room prior to practice because of his inactivity and because teammate Aaron Hernandez got a contract extension. Welker had been hoping for an extension and instead got franchised. "It's good for him. I'm definitely happy for him," Welker said when asked about the Hernandez news."He's a great player and done a lot of great things for us. Good to have him here."
Asked about dealing with the uncertainty of his future beyond 2012, Welker answered, "I'm under contract, and I played out my last deal, and I'll play out this one and we'll see where we're at."Welker deferred to Bill Belichick when asked about his availability for Wednesday's preseason finale against the Giants, saying, "Just talk to coach on that."Belichick smiled and said Welker is "day-to-day."Welker expressed no reservations that he'll be ready for the opener September 9 in Nashville.
"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "I look forward to being out there with the team, and looking forward to 2012."