Patriots Place Stallworth on IR, Release Shiancoe; Branch Expected To Return

Derek Havens
December 11, 2012 at 07:16pm ET

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The New England Patriots announced on Tuesday veteran wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth has been placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. In addition to Stallworth, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe has been released.

Stallworth's last play was a 63-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter and now leaves the Patriots banged up receiving core even more short-handed. With Deion Branch's locker still intact, I would expect him to re-sign with the team in the next 24-48 hours, if his hamstring is healthy.

Visanthe Shiancoe's release makes his time with the Patriots very disappointing. (FILE:USPresswire)

Shiancoe's release is not surprising after yet another poor performance on Monday night. Not only was the veteran tight end basically invisible during the game, he also tipped back-up quarterback Ryan Mallett's pass in the air, which led to the patriots only turnover in the game late in the fourth quarter.

Shiancoe's time with the Patriots was very disappointing for two main reasons. The first disappointing aspect of Shiancoe's short-lived tenure with the team was his 1.2 million dollar signing bonus he received for almost zero production value.

The second and most disappointing part of Shiancoe's release is how the Pats used their "IR with designation to return" tag on the veteran early on in the season. If the team had not used their designation on Shiancoe, perhaps they could have had Jeff Demps return and add a dynamic playmaking ability to the team.

Especially with Julian Edelman's foot injury, Demps could have added value to the return game. Turns out the Shiancoe signing was a failure from the get go.

In other news, offensive lineman Tommie Draheim has been released from the practice squad.

With Stallworth going to IR, Shiancoe's and Draheim's release; the Patriots now have two open roster spots on the 53-man roster as well as an open spot on the practice squad.

Draheim was signed to the New England practice squad on Dec. 4. The 23-year-old originally was signed by the Green Bay Packers as a rookie free agent out of San Diego State in early May.

As I mentioned, expect Deion Branch to be re-signed this week. Branch was dealing with a hamstring issue that led to his release, but several reports indicate he is now healthy.

For whom the Patriots will fill the open roster spots on both the 53-man roster and the practice squad, expect corresponding moves in the next couple of days. Stay tuned.

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