BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots have found a roster spot for Ben Watson. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, New England is expected to bring back the veteran tight end, whom they released just last week.
That should make Tom Brady a happy camper, as the quarterback spoke glowingly of Watson after the team cut ties with the veteran. The Patriots convinced Watson to end his brief retirement when they signed him over the offseason, only to release him after he served his four-game PED suspension to start the season. Head coach Bill Belichick said the team didn’t have a roster spot for Watson at the time, but hinted that may change in the future.
With fullback Jakob Johnson landing on IR following Thursday night’s win over the New York Giants, the Patriots found a roster spot for Watson.
Watson, 38, was originally drafted by Bill Belichick and the Patriots in the first round — No. 32 overall — of the 2004 draft. He missed almost the entirety of his rookie season due to injury, but would end up catching 167 passes for 2,102 yards and 20 touchdowns from 2004-09.
Last year, Watson had 35 receptions for 400 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the New Orleans Saints. In his career, he’s caught 530 passes for 5,885 yards and 44 touchdowns. After missing 15 games as a rookie, he’s played in an average of 15 games per year.
So far this season, Patriots tight ends — Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo — have combined for nine receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown. LaCosse suffered a knee injury early in Thursday night’s win over the Giants and did not return, leaving the Patriots extremely thin at tight end. Watson should be able to help the offense, as we noted the week prior to his release.