FOXBORO -- Wes Welker returned to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday with a neck injury suffered in Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh. The only player missing was linebacker Dane Fletcher, who again was kept out due to a thumb injury. 

The team worked out in full pads behind Gillette Stadium. 

For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots

FOXBORO -- One of the Patriots defensive captains stood up Thursday and took some of the heat for the defensive woes of the secondary this season. Starting nose tackle Vince Wilfork says that the defensive line has to shoulder some of the responsibility for not make life more difficult on opposing quarterbacks this season. In seven games this season, only Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has failed to reach the 300-yard passing plateau. 

The Patriots may have caught a break for their upcoming game against the Giants as starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw will reportedly be out indefinitely with a broken bone in his foot. 

FOXBORO -- Trying to figure out the overall impact of Albert Haynesworth on this year’s Patriots defense is a tricky proposition.



Antrel Rolle certainly isn't lacking for confidence.

The Giants safety was asked about the possibility of facing Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker in man coverage on Sunday, and he responded, “I can handle anything.”

Rolle was asked why Welker, who leads the NFL with 57 catches and is second with 824 receiving yards, is so tough to cover. According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, Rolle responded bluntly.

FOXBORO -- Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker did not practice on Wednesday, as the veteran is suffering from what the team is calling a neck injury. Welker and linebacker Dane Fletcher (thumb) were the only two players who sat out practice for New England. Here's the complete injury report:

Did Not Practice
LB Dane Fletcher (thumb)
WR Wes Welker (neck)

Limited Participation
S Josh Barrett (thumb)
DE Shaun Ellis (rib)
RB Kevin Faulk (knee)
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe)

Hines Ward missed Sunday's 25-17 Steelers win over the Patriots with an ankle injury, but the veteran wide receiver told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he might have tried to play if he held the New England secondary in higher regard.

FOXBORO -- Patriots wide receiver/kick returner Julian Edelman was at practice on Wednesday as the Patriots began their on-field work for the Giants game Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Edelman was arrested and arraigned in Boston on Tuesday on charges of indecent assualt for an alleged groping incident at a Boston nightclub on Halloween. 

Another wide receiver, Wes Welker, was not spotted at the start of practice while linebacker Dane Fletcher, who missed all of last week with a thumb injury, also was missing from practice. 

Look, it’s all Bill Belichick bashing here this week. There was a time when that was viewed as more of a warning than an invitation (and still probably is by some).



KIRK MINIHANE

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FOXBORO -- Speaking at his locker Wednesday afternoon, Patriots running back Kevin Faulk empathized with Julian Edelman but said the team has moved on and won't let his arrest this week distract the team.