Welker, Hobbs Return From PUP

Wes Welker (AP Photo)

FOXBORO -- The New England Patriots welcomed back three more members from the PUP list on Saturday: Wes Welker, Ellis Hobbs and Bo Ruud. The team also announced the signing of free agent offensive lineman Barry Stokes, while Anthony Clement was placed on IR.

Wes Welker Is Back

Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker returned to the practice field on Saturday August 2, after the team removed him from the PUP list. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound receiver had missed all of the team's offseason minicamp practices while recovering form a groin injury. When asked how he felt, Welker told reporters that he was glad to be back.

"I feel ready to go. If I wasn't 100 percent I wouldn't be out there," said Welker.

Hobbs Returns With Confidence

Never one to mince words with a chance to show his confidence, Patriots' cornerback Ellis Hobbs returned to practice on Saturday after the team removed him from the PUP list. Although Hobbs didn't participate in practice much during the session, the key for Hobbs was to get back on the field.

"I just made a promise to myself, as soon as we got those surgeries taken care of," said Hobbs. "That I wouldn't move a muscle until I was full go."

When asked if he felt any different being the senior-most defender in the secondary, Hobbs returned to his confident ways.

"I think everybody that comes out here, especially at corner, wants to be the No. 1 guy," said Hobbs. "That's how I felt when I came in as a rookie."

Hobbs has started 33 of 47 regular season games since being selected by the Patriots in the third round of he 2005 NFL Draft (84th overall). The Fresno State corner was quick to downplay the role of his injuries from 2007 telling reporters that he wasn't one to whine about injuries or use them as an excuse.

Ruud Glad To Be Back

Rookie linebacker Bo Ruud was the third player removed from the Patriots' PUP list on Saturday, enabling the Nebraska product to participate in his first training camp practice.

Stokes Joins Line As Clement Departs

The Patriots signed veteran offensive lineman Barry Stokes Saturday. Terms of the deal were not available. A journeyman lineman, Stokes has appeared in 83 games with 44 starts over his career, playing for the Miami Dolphins (1998), Green Bay Packers (2000-01), Cleveland Browns (2002-03), Atlanta Falcons (2005) and Detroit Lions (2006).

Stokes participated in Saturday's practice wearing a white No. 75 jersey.

The Patriots also placed veteran offensive lineman Anthony Clement on the injured reserve list due to a knee injury. Clement joined New England as an unrestricted free agent after spending the past two seasons starting at right tackle for the New York Jets.

Saturday's practice was closed to the public due to the Bruce Springsteen Concert. Severe weather in the area forced a delay to the start of the concert, though reports indicate 'the Boss' put on quite a show.

The Patriots next practice is Sunday 2:30-4:30 at Gillette Stadium. Practice is open to the public.

More:
Insider Analysis on Training Camp
2008 Patriots Roster

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