Frustrated Patriots Legend Sounds Off: ‘This is Bush League Stuff’

Getty Wes Welker

Former New England Patriots great Wes Welker isn’t happy with the NFL.

The prolific former slot receiver and primary target for Tom Brady during a key portion of the Patriots’ dynasty sustained many injuries throughout his NFL career.

Welker is now a wide receivers coach with the San Francisco 49ers, but it appears the effects of his 12-year career still hamper him. Welker is pursuing disability benefits from the NFL Player Benefits department and is running into some pushback. A frustrated Welker took to social media to share the document he received denying his claim.

Welker’s caption ends with: “this is bush league stuff.”

According to the document Welker posted, the 36-year-old submitted a “line-of-duty” disability claim. The Disability Initial Claims Committee of the NFL Player Disability & Survivor Benefit Plan, referencing Dr. Hussein Elkousy, declined to rate Welker’s “various surgeries” as justification for approval. The document cited “a lack of supportive documentation” within his medical records.

The document calls out a lack of “records reflecting that the surgeries were performed as a result of injuries sustained while playing in the NFL.”

Welker was given until October 10, 2022, to submit “the requested medical records” to reconsider his application. Welker’s post drew various reactions from those on social media who got a glimpse of the document.

Twitter Responds to Welker’s Revealing Tweet

One fan responded sarcastically to Welker’s plight and post.

“Oh no, you have to do normal people stuff. The humanity.”

Chicago Bears great, Six-Time Pro-Bowler, 1-time All-Pro, and 2000s All-Decade Team Olin Kreutz fired back at the fan.

“We’re not normal people we played in the NFL. Sorry, that hurts your feelings, and you feel the need to stand up for billionaires, “the humanity.”

Others were more supportive of Welker’s struggles. One fan responded:

“Any other job would be paying for it. Their justification is it didn’t happen as a result of him playing. An obvious lie. Jesus.”

Most others with a similar stance appeared to find it hard to believe the NFL would question any player, let alone someone like Welker, who notoriously took a beating over the course of his career. A search of “Wes Welker hits” on YouTube brought up the following videos on the first page of results.

2008 – Ryan Clark Lays Out Wes Welker2008 week 13 steelers @ patriots2019-09-02T16:00:03Z

D.J. Swearinger hit on Wes Credit to ABC 13-KTRK, and NFL2014-09-02T15:35:06Z

D.J. Swearinger hit on Wes Credit to ABC 13-KTRK, and NFL2014-09-02T15:35:06Z

Wes Welker Gets JACKED UP by Brandon presents Wes Welker Gets JACKED UP by Brandon Browner

Eric Smith hits Wes Welker and piece of helmet flies off!!Eric Smith, Jets safety hits Wes Welker and a piece of the helmet flies off after the collision. Jets/Patriots AFC Divisional Playoffs. Welker got jacked up!!!2011-01-17T01:25:15Z

Draft Sharks listed the following table for Welker’s injury history.

Date League Injury Details
Jan 3, 2010 NFL Knee ACL Tear Grade 3 Welker tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in the regular season finale. Only the ACL required surgery.
Apr 1, 2008 NFL Inguinal Groin Strain Grade 2 Welker missed spring practices and the first 8 days of training camp with a groin injury.
Dec 8, 2013 NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 2 Welker missed the final 3 games of the regular season with a concussion. He returned for the playoffs.
Aug 23, 2014 NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 Welker was concussed in the 3rd preseason game and missed the first 2 weeks of the regular season.
Aug 17, 2013 NFL Pedal Ankle Sprain Grade 2 Welker sprained his right ankle in the 2nd preseason game but was ready for Week 1.
Nov 17, 2013 NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 Welker was concussed in Week 11 but was cleared for Week 12.
Nov 2, 2014 NFL Back Lower Lumbar Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1 Welker was knocked out of Week 9 with a back injury but was able to play the following week.
Sep 14, 2009 NFL Knee Strain Grade 1 Welker missed 2 games with an undisclosed knee injury.

In January 2010, Welker tore his ACL and MCL just before the Patriots began their postseason run that year. It will be interesting to see how Welker’s experiences shape how current NFL players maintain medical records as they prepare for similar situations after their careers.

Other Patriots News: Tyquan Thornton Injury Update

A current Patriots WR has some injury concerns of his own. Rookie Tyquan Thornton underwent surgery to repair a fractured clavicle. Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Thornton is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

Because Thornton is a rookie, he may need a few more weeks after he is healthy to get acclimated. In any case, this is a major blow to the Patriots’ depth at the position, as there were high hopes for Thornton to add a much-needed speed element to the offense.

As it is, New England will have to wait until later this season to see that come to fruition.

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