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Bill Belichick benches Wes Welker for Rex Ryan foot jokes


This weird week leading up to the Jets-Patriots game got a little weirder in the minutes before kickoff.

CBS reported just prior to game time that Wes Welker, the Patriots’ No. 1 receiver, will not be in the starting lineup.

The reason? Patriots coach Bill Belichick benched Welker for making jokes this week about the involvement of Jets coach Rex Ryan and Ryan’s wife in foot fetish videos.

Belichick told all his players not to say anything that would serve as bulletin board material, and he was apparently serious. So Welker won’t start.

UPDATE: Welker took the field for a punt return, then went to the sideline and stayed there throughout the Patriots’ first offensive possession. He was back on the field for the Patriots’ second possession.