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Patriots Wide Receiver Wes Welker Misses Practice Wednesday With Neck Injury

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker missed practice Wednesday with a neck injury he likely sustained this past Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 30:  Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots is tackled Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 30, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 30: Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots is tackled Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 30, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The NFL's leading pass-catcher was absent from practice Wednesday for the New England Patriots. Wide receiver Wes Welker was forced to sit out with a neck injury, likely sustained during the fourth quarter of this past Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers

Midway through the final quarter, Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu took Welker to the ground by his shoulders and neck. The hard hit left Welker slow to get up, but Welker remained in the game nonetheless. Welker leads the NFL with 57 receptions and is second in the league in receiving yards (824) and tied for second in receiving touchdowns (6).

Welker was the subject of some bulletin board-worthy remarks from New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle earlier in the day. Rolle, who could be tasked with covering Welker when the two teams square off Sunday, was asked at Giants practice what made the Patriots' top receiver so tough to cover.

 "I don't know," Rolle said. "You've got to ask those guys he's giving trouble to. I don't plan on having to answer to those questions."

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