Wes Welker will return to Gillette Stadium this season, but as a Denver Broncos wideout.
Wes Welker will return to Gillette Stadium this season, but as a Denver Broncos wideout. (Associated Press)
Thursday April 18, 2013

NEW YORK -- Wes Welker will return to Gillette Stadium -- albeit in a Denver Broncos uniform -- in November.

Welker, who left the New England Patriots for Denver earlier this offseason, and the Broncos play in Foxborough on Sunday, Nov. 24, in a game televised by NBC. The full NFL schedule was released Thursday night.

The Patriots will play five nationally televised games in 2013, including a Week 2 home game against the division rival Jets. That game is Thursday, Sept. 12, on the NFL Network. The Patriots open the season at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8, at Buffalo.

New England's home slate includes out-of-division AFC games against Cleveland, Denver and Pittsburgh, as well as games against NFC foes Tampa Bay and New Orleans. The Patriots, outside of the AFC East, will travel to Atlanta, Cincinnati, Carolina, Houston and defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore (Dec. 22).

The Ravens will open the 2013 season at Denver in the now-traditional Thursday night kickoff game.

The NFL champs usually host the opener, but the Orioles are home Sept. 5 and could not move their game. So $121 million quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens were sent to Denver -- to face Peyton Manning and the team they beat in double overtime on their way to the Super Bowl.

Baltimore preferred beginning the season Thursday night on the road rather than at home on Sunday.

Other schedule highlights announced Thursday: Manning returning to Indianapolis on Sunday night, Oct.


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20; Manning against younger brother Eli and the Giants in Week 2 at the Meadowlands; and coach Andy Reid returning to Philadelphia with the Chiefs on Thursday night, Sept. 19.

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2013 New England Patriots schedule

Sunday, Sept. 8: at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Thursday, Sept. 12: N.Y. Jets, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)

Sunday, Sept. 22: Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (Fox)

Sunday, Sept. 29: at Atlanta, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, Oct. 6: at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Oct. 13: New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. (Fox)

Sunday, Oct. 20: at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Oct. 27: Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Nov. 3: Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Nov. 10: BYE WEEK

Monday, Nov. 18: at Carolina, 8:40 p.m. (ESPN)

Sunday, Nov. 24: Denver, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)*

Sunday, Dec. 1: at Houston, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)*

Sunday, Dec. 8: Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)*

Sunday, Dec. 15: at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)*

Sunday, Dec. 22: at Baltimore, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)*

Sunday, Dec. 29: Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)*

* -- Game time, network subject to flex scheduling adjustment