TAMPA - Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker did not take part in practice Thursday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Welker was on the sidelines in shorts and a t-shirt while the Pats and Bucs prepared for their second day of joint workouts.
There was nothing immediately evident to suggest why Welker was down. He did have a hair transplant performed by Dr. Robert Leonard in late June but there's little chance that getting his own hair back would do anything but make him stunningly handsome.
The Patriots make a habit of managing their key players' repetitions during camp and the chance exists Welker is merely having his work managed. But given the team was working in shells in advance of Friday's game and the workload wasn't heavy, we have to consider Welker's chances of playing as doubtful.
Also newly added to the spectator group was safety Ross Ventrone.
Bill Belichick said the Patriots planned to work on situational aspects with the Bucs on Friday. The coach remains his expansive away-from-Gillette self.
Speaking of the first day of work, Belichick said, "I thought it was a good day for us yesterday. I think we got a lot done and improved our team. Saw a lot of things out there that we haven't seen, and of course, competing against another team is good for us. So we spent a lot of time last night going over the film with the players as a staff, as part of critiquing ourselves -- as coaches and what we need to do better and also the players and how they competed against each other and the different matchups we saw in practice."