Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 9/19/12

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Wes Welker (#83) of the New England Patriots runs with the ball during the NFL International Series match between New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 25, 2009 in London, England. This is the third occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Wes Welker caught more passes over the past five seasons than any other NFL player. So why is he spending more time on the New England Patriots sideline this year? Newcomer Brandon Lloyd has taken over the top receiving spot and three-year backup Julian Edelman has improved while Welker was involved in an offseason contract dispute and could leave as a free agent after this year. Or maybe he's hurting and the Patriots want him to be fresher for the second half of the season. It could be all of the above. Or none. Welker said he feels ''great.'' And he and his teammates downplay his decreased usage in the first two games, while coach Bill Belichick questions whether it's even been diminished. --- Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
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