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Wes Welker on Gronk: ‘We’re going to have him out there’

01.29.12 at 8:04 pm ET
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INDIANAPOLIS — Patriots receiver Wes Welker spoke Sunday evening like a teammate who was hedging his bet just a little when asked what impact he would feel if Rob Gronkowski were unable to go in Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants, or was significantly limited due to his left ankle injury.

“I know I need to make some plays with those guys out of the game so, they’re definitely an integral part of our offense with everything they do,” Welker said. “If one of them is not in, other guys have to step up and do some things out there. They’ve been great players for us all year and we’re going to continue to lean on them.”

But Welker also made it sound like he and the Patriots fully expect Gronkowski to take the field with his other star tight end teammate Aaron Hernandez next Sunday.

“If he’s out there, he’s a tough kid,” Welker said. “I’m not really too worried about it changing anything we’re going to do offensively. We’re going to have him out there and he’s always a force and I don’t think it’s going to change… what their game plan is going to be.”

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