<
>

We have contact: Welker responds well

Wes Welker's striking comeback reached another encouraging milestone Thursday:

Contact.

ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss chronicled the action from New England Patriots camp Thursday. Welker, the slot receiver who underwent reconstructive left surgery over the offseason, absorbed two shots from linebacker Jerod Mayo in 11-on-11 drills.

Reiss reported Welker bounced up with no problems each time.

They were the first hits Welker has taken in public since he tore his anterior-cruciate ligament in the Jan. 3 regular-season finale against the Houston Texans. He also had surgery to repair a rotator cuff in March.

These are the types of moments that help a player's psychological rehab from an injury. A knee injury was believed to be extra troubling for Welker because he's a darter who relies on sudden cuts, stops and starts.