A seventh round draft pick of the Patriots in 2010 out of Vanderbilt, Welch was released by the team at the end of training camp last year, and landed with the Vikings on their practice squad. Welch was released by the Vikings during final cut-downs this preseason, and the Patriots scooped him back onto their practice squad.
Between two stints on the active roster, Welch has played in three games for the Patriots, starting one, and has come onto the field as a reserve tackle and as a 3rd tight end, being utilized in a blocking role.
If he clears waivers, Welch should land back on the Patriots practice squad, where they can call him up if needed later in the season. Reading between the lines, perhaps Welch's release is a positive sign for those following the health of starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, although I would be careful not to read too much into it.
The Patriots roster currently stands at 52 players, so expect another roster move in the coming day or two (perhaps a return for Dan Gronkowski?)