Patriots Addressing Tight End With Tomlinson, Watson
Ch-ch-changes, There’s gonna have to be a different man
The Patriots are looking to make some needed additions at tight end this week as they prepare for the Jets on Monday Night Football next week. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport has reported that the Patriots are signing former Jets and Giants tight end Eric Tomlinson to the 53-man roster.
Yesterday, Field Yates of ESPN reported that the team was bringing back veteran Ben Watson. Watson was signed this spring but was suspended through the first four games by the league. The team then balked at adding him to the roster, releasing him. Bill Belichick said at the time that there just wasn’t a roster spot for Watson at this time. Apparently, now there is room.
Matt LaCosse was injured early in the Giants game and reportedly has an injured MCL that will require him to miss several weeks. He’s been dealing with nagging injuries all year. A roster spot was opened up when the Patriots placed fullback Jakob Johnson on IR with a shoulder injury.
If the Patriots are to add both Tomlinson and Watson, another corresponding roster move must be made and perhaps it is moving LaCosse to IR. But that isn’t official, just speculation at this point.
The tight end position has been a weak spot for the team through the first six games of the season. LaCosse has only 3 catches for 55 yards while Izzo has made 6 receptions for 114. But neither has done a consistent job in the blocking department. Which is something that has really hurt the Patriots running game.
The Patriots were starting from scratch this year, with all three TEs from the 2018 roster gone. Rob Gronkowski retired and Dwayne Allen signed with Miami and is now a free agent, while Jacob Hollister is with Seattle and was just added to their 53-man roster.
If there is one area that the Patriots front office neglected this spring, it is the tight end position. After losing all three including a Hall of Famer in Gronkowski, the team opted to bypass several viable tight ends in the draft and instead, signed veterans Watson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Seferian-Jenkins was given his release to attend to personal problems and Watson, to date, has yet to suit up in a game. Izzo returned from IR and later the team added LaCosse.
Watson is an experienced pass catcher and should immediately help in attacking the seams of the defenses. Tomlinson who has good size at 6’6, 253 has caught only 16 passes, for 193 yards and one touchdown in his NFL career but is known more as a blocker, (something Izzo has struggled with) and STs contributor.
With injuries at WRs Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett as well, 1st-round draft pick N’Keal Harry is expected to be back at practice tomorrow. While he has been active in the meeting room with the offense and wide receivers as is allowed by the NFL rules while on IR, he hasn’t practiced with the team since training camp. Bill Belichick said yesterday, he’ll have to show he can out and physically compete at practice.
He is eligible to return to the active roster in two weeks after the Wednesday date and, if healthy enough, play against the Ravens on November 3.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Ben Watson Bill Belichick Eric Tomlinson josh gordon Matt Lacosse N'Keal Harry New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots offense Patriots tight ends Phillip Dorsett Rob Gronkowski Ryan Izzo Tom Brady