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Sunday, November 7, 2010
Wes Welker kicks extra point

ESPNBoston.com

CLEVELAND -- Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker kicked an extra point in New England's game against Cleveland.

Welker, forced into kicking duty because Stephen Gostkowski suffered a thigh injury in the first half, drilled his kick to bring the Patriots within 27-14 with 6:37 left. He then kicked a pop-up to Browns return man Josh Cribbs on the ensuing kickoff.

It's the first time Welker has kicked since 2004, when he made a field goal and extra point as a rookie for Miami.

"You just have to be ready for any sort of situation," he said. "Unfortunately that came up and you just have to make due with what you got."

Welker, whose soccer background makes him a perfect emergency option, was asked how much he has practiced for those type of situations.

"Never," he responded. "I can't remember the last time I kicked a ball. It's been a while."

Gostkowski seemed to injure himself on a kickoff in the first half. He spent the remainder of the game on the sideline.

"His leg tightened up in the game; obviously he wasn't able to finish and kick," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. "So we'll have to see. But he wasn't able to finish the game."

If the Patriots wind up needing a short-term replacement for Gostkowski, two options are Shayne Graham and Shaun Suisham, both of whom were at Gillette Stadium for workouts in October.

The 32-year-old Graham, who kicked for the Bengals from 2003-2009, was with the Giants in one game this season as an emergency fill-in. The 28-year-old Suisham had his longest stint with the Redskins from 2006-2009, but he has not kicked in the NFL this season.

ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.