New England Patriots claim ex-Packers TE Martellus Bennett off waivers

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Martellus Bennett
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Martellus Bennett /

The New England Patriots have claimed former Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett off waivers.

The New England Patriots have claimed former Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett off of waivers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Bennett had 24 receptions for 233 yards in seven games with the Packers this season until being released by the team on Wednesday.

The veteran tight end was traded to New England during the 2016 offseason. In 16 games with the Patriots last season, Bennett amassed 51 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns.

Bennett served as a solid replacement for Rob Gronkowski after he suffered a season-ending back injury in Week 12 of last year. He posted 13 grabs for 161 yards and three touchdowns in five games during Gronkowski’s absence along with 11 catches for 98 yards in the postseason.

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Following Bennett’s release, question marks remain regarding his health status. He missed the Packers’ Monday night game versus the Detroit Lions due to a shoulder injury and was ruled out for Green Bay’s Week 10 duel with the Chicago Bears.

If Bennett is healthy enough to play in New England’s Sunday night matchup with the Denver Broncos, he could help reduce the impact of any missed time from wide receiver Chris Hogan. Hogan did not practice on Wednesday and was reported as still wearing a sling.

It should come as no surprise that New England ceased the opportunity of a Bennett reunion. Dwayne Allen, who was acquired from the Indianapolis Colts in March as Bennett’s replacement, has yet to record a reception this season.

That being said, WEEI’s Ryan Hannable believes the addition of Bennett could help Allen.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss also notes that having Bennett back could help the Patriots overcome their red zone woes. On 34 trips to the red zone this season, New England has only cashed in 17 touchdowns.

This isn’t the first time the Patriots have picked up one of their former players midway through the season. The team signed running back LeGarrette Blount following his release from the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2014 season.

Next: Patriots' early needs for the 2018 NFL Draft

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, to make room for Bennett, New England will reportedly waive defensive end, Geneo Grissom.