In advance of Sunday’s divisional playoff game between the New York Jets and Welker’s New England Patriots, the wide receiver peppered his weekly meeting with reporters Thursday with several references to feet or toes — comments that led many to speculate that Welker was poking fun of Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
Last month, videos surfaced of Ryan’s wife, Michelle, displaying her feet in a series of foot-fetish videos.
Welker’s comments, including references to his teammates as "good little foot soldiers," apparently did not go unnoticed.
Jets center Nick Mangold on Friday took to Twitter to "praise" Welker
"Wes Welker is a great player," Mangold’s post read. "He’s really taken advantage of watching film. If we don’t keep a Spy on him, he could really open the Gate."
Mangold appeared to be referencing the 2007 scandal in which the NFL disciplined the Patriots for violating league rules by taping Jets coaches’ signals.
Welker’s and Mangold’s remarks are the latest of several that have grabbed media attention in the lead-up to Sunday’s game.
Earlier this week, Ryan billed the playoff game as a showdown between New England coach Bill Belichick and himself and called out Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for taunting Jets defenders during last month’s 45-3 victory in New England.
Then, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie called Brady an "a******" for staring at the Jets sideline and pointing at Jets players after big plays.