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Patriots wideout Wes Welker downplays reduced role

Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker said that "coaches coach and players play" when asked about his reduced role. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker didn't want to stir up any controversy about not playing much in the first quarter of Sunday's 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Welker wasn't sure he would even start the game and didn't see action until tight end Aaron Hernandez got hurt.

"I really wasn't positive even leading up to the first series," he told Boston radio station WEEI. "I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I just go out there, and whenever my number's called, I go out and play. … It is what it is. Coaches coach, players play. That's all I can do."

Welker ended up catching five passes for 95 yards.

"We got a good team and some good players, and (offensive balance is) good to have," Welker said. "If we have to rely on me to make 120 catches, it's not where we want to be as an offense. We have some guys that really stepped up and it's good to have those guys out there and making plays for us."

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