New England Patriots: 5 Possible Reasons for Wes Welker's Reduced Snap Count

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New England Patriots: 5 Possible Reasons for Wes Welker's Reduced Snap Count
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

One of the biggest controversies regarding the New England Patriots' 2012 season has been the decline in playing time for Patriots slot receiver Wes Welker.

In the Patriots' Week 1 win over the Tennessee Titans, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com, Welker only took the field for 43 of 67 snaps (64 percent). Fourth-year receiver and quarterback-convert Julian Edelman was on the field for 23 of 67 snaps (34 percent). By comparison, in 2011, Welker was on the field for 89.2 percent of the Patriots' offensive snaps.

In their Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Welker took part in 63 snaps—but Edelman was on the field for 75 snaps and, in fact, started the game at wide receiver, while Welker was on the sidelines for the first offensive snap of the game.

Why did that happen?

Here are a few possible explanations.

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