New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Welker, Cunningham inactive against Saints

Despite his incredible progress returning from a devastating knee injury suffered last season, wide receiver Wes Welker did not dress for Thursday night’s preseason opener at Gillette Stadium, a 27-24 win for the Patriots over the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.

When asked after the game if the team is playing it safe with Welker, head coach Bill Belichick said, “The players that didn’t dress and play tonight, we just didn’t feel were ready to play. That goes for everybody.”

Rookie outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, who was expected to see plenty of action in this game was sidelined with an undisclosed injury sustained during a punt return drill earlier this week.

Other players not dressed included wide receivers Torry Holt and Matthew Slater, cornerbacks Leigh Bodden and Terrence Johnson, safety Bret Lockett, inside linebacker Gary Guyton, guard Nick Kaczur, defensive end Ty Warren and defensive tackle Ron Brace. Guard Logan Mankins, and defensive end Derrick Burgess still have not reported and remain out.

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