Wes Welker sits out practice (neck)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker sat out Wednesday's practice session with a neck injury, which likely stems from a tackle made by Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game.

With about six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Welker was taken down hard by Polamalu, who grabbed Welker around the shoulders and in the neck area. The receiver was slow to get up, but remained in the game.

After the game, Welker spoke to reporters, and on Wednesday, he held a conference call with New York media, but did not appear in the Patriots locker room.

Welker has an NFL-high 57 receptions this season for 824 yards, which ranks second in the league.

The only other player missing from Wednesday's first practice of the week, held in light shoulder pads, was Dane Fletcher (thumb injury).

Seven others were limited during the session: safety Josh Barrett (thumb), defensive end Shaun Ellis (ribs), running back Kevin Faulk (knee), running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe), tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee), linebacker Jerod Mayo (knee) and offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer (back).

Wide receiver Julian Edelman, who was arrested on Monday night, was present at practice.

Followed by NBC cameras and reporter Lester Holt, owner Robert Kraft made a cameo at practice, greeting several offensive players as they went through light drills.

ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg and Mike Rodak contributed to this report.