FOXBOROUGH – The New England Patriots have had an extremely busy with an unconventional week between games. Most teams barely manage to make this much news for themselves over the course of the month, but of course, the Patriots manage to raise eyebrows as they gear up for a Monday night matchup against the New York Jets, following last week's victory over the New York Giants.
With four extra days of preparation to account for, there might be much more news out of the Patriots organization over the course of the rest of the week. For now, we are only privy to about four major news stories out of the team.
For one, after much of a brouhaha was made out of the Patriots releasing veteran tight end Benjamin Watson last week, he's back on the team. After being activated from his suspension, Watson found there was no room on the roster for him and he was cut instead. But with injuries to tight end Matt LaCosse and wide receiver Josh Gordon shaking up the Patriots game plan, Watson re-signed with the team yesterday. In a flurry of roster moves, quarterback Cody Kessler was waived and fullback Jakob Johnson was placed on the season-ending injured reserve.
These moves also allowed for another receiving option to return to the Patriots as rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry was seen at practice for the first time since the pre-season. Nursing a hamstring injury on the IR, Harry is expected back for the November 3rd game against the Baltimore Ravens. And there is no denying that Tom Brady could use a talented wide receiver right about now.
As much as familiar faces have been returning to the Patriots, however, one certainly will not as former tight end Rob Gronkowski gave an interview with WEEI when he emphatically told Greg Hill that he would not be coming out of retirement. For the first time in a long time, Gronkowski’s answer was a definite no.
While the Patriots are used to being without Gronk already this season, they will also have to adjust to being without defensive lineman Michael Bennett this week, as New England suspended him for conduct that was “detrimental to the team.”
In a statement, Bennett said, “On Friday, I had a philosophical disagreement with my position coach that has led to my suspension. I apologize to my teammates for any distraction this may have caused.’’ This likely comes about from his severe drop in playing time this season, but we will also probably never get the full answer.
That seems to be the round-up of the past two days of Patriots news. Any other players want to make a big splash in the headlines this week? Any special teamers? No?
Image via Wikimedia Commons / Bernard Gagnon