First, there was the surprise in early June of Wes Welker running routes with the Patriots at mini-camp, just four months after surgery to repair a torn ACL. Now comes the speculation that he could be ready to play by Week 1.
Well, a Week 1 return from Welker is certainly a possibility (if not a probability), and there is precedent for that kind of speedy return. That's not to say anything should be assumed, just that the nature of his injury and history of those returning from him give indications that it wouldn't be stunning at all to see him playing against Cincinnati. The bigger question may revolve around how effective he can be early on.
The scenario is probably more likely: Welker starting the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, meaning he would not be eligible to play until Week 6. We'll know a lot more come July 29.