Wes Welker, who leads the NFL in receptions with 123 (also a Patriots single-season record), left the Patriots-Texans game during New England's first drive of the contest after going down with a left knee injury. The Patriots staff later announced that he would not return to the contest.
Following the Patriots' 34-27 loss to the Texans, sources told ESPN.com and Boston.com that Welker had torn both his ACL and MCL. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Welker is scheduled to undergo more testing Monday.
After grabbing a reception from Tom Brady along the left side, Welker's left leg slipped and his knee buckled as he attempted to juke an oncoming defender. The receiver went down immediately and was carted into the locker room after spending a few minutes receiving treatment on the Pats bench. Welker had a towel over his head and was frustrated and in obvious pain.
Rookie Julian Edelman entered the game and took over for Welker in the slot.
Likely without Welker in the postseason, the Patriots offense could struggle to stay afloat. In 14 games played, Welker averaged just under nine grabs per contest. In four December games, he had 37 receptions — or 9.25 per game — as the Pats went 3-1.
"We've been going through that all year — people up, people down," linebacker Adalius Thomas told ESPN.com about his playoff-bound Patriots. "Will we miss [Welker]? Yes we will. But the guys behind him have to step up and make plays."