As part of their continued effort to fill a Gronk sized hole in their offense, the Patriots have made two moves this week, adding two tight ends. This follows an MCL sprain for Matt LaCosse that is expected to keep him off the field for at least a few weeks.
Move number one, was bringing back veteran Benjamin Watson, as reported by Field Yates. Watson was cut last week as the team didn’t have roster room for him, but in the wake of the injury to FB Jakob Johnson, that situation has changed. Watson has played 14 years in the NFL with New England, Cleveland, New Orleans, and Baltimore.
Watson was drafted at the end of the first round by the Patriots in the 2004 NFL draft, and during his first six years in New England (04-09), Watson started 47 games and was a part of both the 2004 championship team and the 2007 18-1 team. As a Patriot, he caught 167 passes for 2,102 yards and 20 touchdowns.
The second tight end is fourth year veteran Eric Tomlinson, primarily a blocking tight end who spent three years with the Jets before being signed by and released earlier this season from the Giants. He dressed for three games but caught zero balls and was only on the field for 7 snaps.
During his time with the Jets, Tomlinson lined up at fullback on several plays, leading to speculation that he may help fill the void left by injuries to starting fullback James Develin and replacement Jakob Johnson. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the Patriots seem to have released QB Cody Kessler to make room for Tomlinson on the roster.
In other news for the defending champions, rookie WR N’Keal Harry has returned to practice on his first day of eligibility to do so, but will not be able to play a game until week 9. His presence in practice is an encouraging sign that he will be ready then. Meanwhile, WR Josh Gordon was not seen at practice today.