Director of player personnel Nick Caserio announced Sunday morning that Welker had passed his physical test and would practice right away.
The transaction was expected to occur within the first week of training camp (the Patriots began Thursday), but it's another step in what has been an uncommonly fast recovery from a blown out knee seven months ago.
"He's committed to football," Caserio said of Welker. "I think every player has to go at their own pace. I think Wes is a unique guy. There's no question about it.
"He has been a productive player. But he realizes that he has to go out there and prove himself once again, regardless of what has happened in the past, just like any player. Wes works hard. He's got a good skill set. He does the right things, and I think it's a tribute to him and his work ethic and his competitiveness and his toughness to get back on the field."