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New England Patriots Kellen Winslow Jr. active

The New England Patriots newest tight end, Kellen Winslow Jr., will be active in the Pats upcoming game against the Baltimore Ravens, per Adam Schefter. The Patriots signed Winslow on Tuesday in response to the low ankle sprain that Aaron Hernandez suffered in Week 2’s loss against the Arizona Cardinals.

Hernanez will be out for 4-6 weeks, so the Pats decided to bring in a solid pass-catcher in Winslow for the time being. The news that he will be active for tonight’s game is not surprising, but it is interesting given that Winslow only spent a few practices with the team and is a very recent acquisition.

Much has been made of Winslow’s decline, but the main concern I have is the health of his knee. Other than that, I think the knocks on him as a player are overblown. He’s still a solid pass-catcher, and Josh Freeman had a rough year in 2011 which explains the lower numbers for Winslow. Freeman had a lot of interceptions throwing it in Winslow’s direction, because he looked to his TE far too often when under pressure and overtargeted him in situations where he should have thrown it away, taken the sack, or made a different read.

In any case, it will be interesting to see if Winslow gets more snaps than newly signed wide receiver Deion Branch, who has much more familiarity with the team. Regardless, Julian Edelman and Wes Welker will both receive more targets than Winslow and Branch, and I think Winslow will be receiving more looks. Daniel Fells will likely be out or very limited tonight, and the Pats are going to be using a No. 2 TE more than a No. 4 receiver.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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