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Julian Edelman has seen reps over Wes Welker this season, no one can argue against that.
However, it has become clear that the team does not view Edelman and Welker in the exact mold. Last Sunday, the team split Edelman out wide with Welker holding down his traditional spot in the slot. Welker has taken snaps out wide before, but it is clear that the team views Edelman as a more versatile inside/outside option.
As the Patriots' offense has evolved and become more dependent on the two young tight ends, Welker has lost more snaps in the slot to Aaron Hernandez.
Edelman has taken an apparent leap forward this season in the eyes of the coaching staff, so to keep him on the field along with new wideout Brandon Lloyd, the two young-gun tight ends and a running back, someone had to come off the field. The choice of the coaches was the All-Pro Welker.
Having too many weapons is a problem few teams have, but having an additional player of Welker's caliber is a great luxury.
Fortunately for Welker, the team will be relying on him more in the absence of Hernandez.
People just need to remember that when Hernandez is healthy, there are many reasons that Welker will or will not be on the field. It comes down to much more than purely him vs. Edelman.