Wes Welker won't talk contract on Dan Patrick Show

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Wes Welker won't talk contract on Dan Patrick Show

Patriots receiver Wes Welker hopped on the Dan Patrick Show Monday morning. There was, of course, the requisite post-game dish on Dallas.

"They have a great defense," Welker said. "Those guys have a lot of speed, they run around to the ball. It seemed like every time you turned there was somebody right there, so it was tough. They've got a great pass rush and DeMarcus Ware he's a monster. We definitely had our hands full all day with their defense."

Sunday's 20-16 Patriots win was the first game in 14 New England put up fewer than 30 points. How does a team put Tom Brady's offense in a straightjacket? Blanketing Welker with double-coverage is a great way to start. The speedy receiver was limited to 45 yards on six catches, his lowest 2011 output since Week 2 (81 yards, 7 receptions).

Dallas' defense should be commended because Welker's productivity wasn't just slowed, it ground to a screeching halt. He set an NFL record for most receiving yards through the season's first five games with a staggering 740 yards on 45 catches. Heading into Week 6, he had strung together three straight 100-yard receiving games. His fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season is still in the making.

Brady -- future Hall of Famer -- hasn't been able to take the podium without patting this guy on the back.

The feeling is mutual for Welker. When describing the team's final offensive drive, the game-winner rifled off with two-minutes and 31 seconds on the clock, he colored in that classic Brady outline of ultimate competitor.

"He's always pretty intense. With him, he's always going to be after it, always going to be onto us, and always trying to drive us down the field to score touchdowns. So nothing really changes in his demeanor, whether it's the first drive or the last.

"He's always yelling at people. There at the end I think we were all kind of calm and collected, and making sure everybody's doing their job and winning on their plays, and making plays and moving down the field."

Does that make Welker confident enough in the QB to bet a game check on a must-score march?

"My game check? Yeah, sure. I'm like the 40th highest paid receiver in the league," he laughed.

Patrick rightfully perked up. Welker's steal of a contract expires at the end of this season and a big payday is due. Will he re-up with Brady and the Patriots? Will he dip a toe in the free agent waters? Either way, he'll rake in a deal far better than the current five-year, 18.1 million offer he's working under.

But the receiver stiff-armed the contract conversation.

"No, no. I'm just playing," he told Patrick, leaving that initial comment about game check rankings to hang humidly over the airways. "To tell you the truth, I have no idea where I rank. I have no idea. I'm just out there trying to help my team win games.I'll tell you the truth, I don't look at any of that stuff. I don't pay attention to it and you're not going to trap me. So I'm all good."

Another laugh ended the money talk.

Well, almost all of it. There was that Aaron Hernandez game-winning touchdown celebration to review. You know, the way Hernandez loves to... make it rain in the end zone. Welker didn't seem to mind one bit.

"It's kind of funny when you throw fake money in the air, I think," he joked. "He may have just turned 21, I'm not sure. I'm not sure where he learned that from."

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)