Shortly after fans received the devastating news that Donte’ Stallworth was placed on the injured reserve with a reported high ankle sprain, the New England Patriots made us a little bit happier by re-signing Deion Branch, per The Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young. The veteran wide receiver was released a few weeks ago after the game against the Indianapolis Colts, and it was likely a combination of a poor performance and a hamstring injury (mostly the latter).
Branch has obviously lost more than a step, but he is still a reliable receiver in the short and mid-range game. More importantly, he was clearly the best option to fill the void left at the No. 3 receiver with the injury of Stallworth. He won’t be making big 63-yard touchdown catches and stretching the field, but he will be a steady pair of hands for Tom Brady on a roster that is currently void of depth at the wide receiver position.
The Patriots have dealt with as many severe injuries as anybody, especially with regards to the offensive side of the ball. Specifically, at the wide receiver position. Let’s hope Stallworth can make a good recovery and continue where he left off on Monday, but the most important thing at this point is the productivity of Branch. Julian Edelman is out for the long haul, and the number of weapons have thinned out. Let’s hope Rob Gronkowski can return soon- but not too son. That’s the key.
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