Welker on the field for Patriots at OTAs

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The story of the day as the New England Patriots took part in organized team activities was the presence of receiver Wes Welker on the practice field.

Welker, who is recovering from February surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, wore a brace over the knee and took part in drills early in the session. Welker was seen running routes at about 75 percent speed as the practice was held at high tempo but was not at a full-speed pace.

One visual from Welker on the field was seeing him run 10 yards, stop quickly and then turn to catch a pass from quarterback Tom Brady. Welker did not appear to be cutting as sharply as he normally would but that is to be expected given his surgery came just about four months ago.

Welker did not participate in the full practice.

The OTA is voluntary, though the Patriots had solid attendance. Players not spotted on the practice field included guard Logan Mankins, defensive end Ty Warren and rookies Taylor Price (receiver) and Kade Weston (defensive lineman). Price cannot attend until Ohio holds its graduation ceremonies.

Nick Kaczur lined up at left guard in place of Mankins, who has stayed away from offseason activities because of displeasure with his contract situation.

Much more to come on this surprising Welker development ...