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Belichick: Bad field contributed to Welker's injury

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By PFW staff

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on his weekly radio show with WEEI in Boston that WR Wes Welker's season-ending knee injury was the result of a bad playing surface in Houston.

Calling the grass on Reliant Stadium "one of the worst fields I have seen," Belichick said the surface was inconsistent with hard and spongy patches that contribute to non-contact injuries such as Welker's. He did not elaborate on the field conditions at his Tuesday address to the media.

Welker, who caught 123 receptions in 14 games this season, was injured after catching a pass in the first half of a 34-27 loss to the Texans on Sunday. His left knee buckled before getting hit by Texans S Bernard Pollard, who coincidentally knocked Patriots QB Tom Brady out last season in Week One when Pollard was a member of the Chiefs.

Reliant Stadium was ranked as the 10th-best playing surface last season in a study done by the NFL Players Association, with 45 of 56 Texans players rating their own field's surface as either excellent or good. The study is done every two seasons. Interestingly, Reliant Stadium was the site of the Patriots' 32-29 victory over the Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

When pressed about the field surface Tuesday, Belichick said he is focusing on the team's playoff game against the Ravens this week.

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