New England Patriots Links 7/28/10 - McCourty Signs; Team Protecting Welker From Himself

A freshly-signed Devin McCourty will be among the rookies reporting to Training Camp today at Gillette.

Andy Simms, Devin McCourty's agent, tweets the good news:

Patriots 1st rounder Devin McCourty has agreed to terms this morning and will be at the facility when the full team reports today.

Albert Breer says Welker is physically ready to play in week 1, but there is no reason to push.

But for now, the idea is to protect Welker from another foe in his recovery from reconstructive knee surgery.

That adversary would be himself.

So as part of Welker’s comeback from a torn ACL and MCL, and a subsequent rotator-cuff surgery, the Patriots took the precaution of placing the receiver on the active/physically unable to perform list yesterday, before today’s veteran training-camp reporting date. Once Welker practices, he comes off that list.

The plan always has been to have Welker ready for Week 1, a goal held above all else, and that plan is going well.

If there was a playoff game tomorrow? Bottom line: Welker could go out and play. He’s ready for contact, and is physically well enough to participate in all football activities.

But there isn’t a game tomorrow, or even a practice until tomorrow. And there’s the empirical knowledge that once they let Welker go, there won’t be much stopping him from pushing himself to the absolute limit, because of his own approach.

So now is the time to be cautious, and keep Welker from causing a problem for himself.

The thinking goes that there is simply no reason to push him, or allow him to push himself too hard too soon, when he can spend a little extra time further strengthening himself and his left leg.

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