BOSTON (CBS) – Donte’ Stallworth was surprised when he was let go by the Patriots at the end of training camp, but the wide receiver understands that’s how the business works.
But that doesn’t mean the Patriots’ decision to cut ties with him didn’t hurt.
“I was disappointed but I’ve been in this league long enough to understand how it works,” Stallworth said earlier this week. “It’s like after a game when you lose a game; you’re upset about it that night but you come in the next night and prepare. That’s what I did, although it took more than a night. It took a few days.”
So Stallworth continued to work out, trying to stay in the best football shape possible, just in case the Patriots or any other NFL team came calling.
Other teams had Stallworth in for workouts, but nothing ever materialized. That is until last week.
With Julian Edelman on injured reserve, the Patriots had to fill two spots: a punt returner and a wide receiver. That’s where Stallworth comes in.
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New England brought the 32 year old back this week, and he’s ready to contribute. Stallworth says he knows the playbook thanks to his time with New England this summer, but he still has a ways to go.
“It made it a lot easier, but being out as long as I have, it’s not like a video game where you can throw someone in and they automatically know what’s going on,” Stallworth said. “It’s like I’m back in school studying. I’ll be studying hard every day.”
But he kept this week simple, and knows what he has to do in order to make an impact this time around.
“Just do what’s expected of me. Come in, take care of my business, make sure I get reacquainted with the playbook and know it as well as I can. Take it each day at a time,” he said.
It’s been almost a year since Stallworth caught his last touchdown pass as a member of the Washington Redskins last season. He caught 22 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns in Washington last season, and likely won’t have too much thrown on his plate Monday night against the Texans.
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But thanks to his familiarity with the New England offense, Stallworth is once again employed in the NFL. And if he gets his chance Monday night, expect him to make the most of it.
Tune in to Patriots-Texans Monday night on 98.5 The Sports Hub! Pregame coverage begins at 5pm with Patriots Preview, and tune in to three hours of post game coverage following the game. WBZ-TV will have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s post-game press conferences live on Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38 following the game.