One of this week’s NFL rumors is that the New England Patriots will soon sign free agent wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth. The ten-year veteran spent the 2007 season with the Patriots helping them to a Super Bowl appearance and spent this last training camp with the Patriots before being released shortly before the beginning of the season.
Injuries have been too common this season with the Patriots and they don’t seem to be slowing down. Just as tight end Aaron Hernandez came back and looked to finally be healthy, his fellow star tight end Rob Gronkowski injured his arm which required surgery. The week after Gronkowski was deemed out for at least three weeks, wide receiver Julian Edelman suffered a concussion which may keep him out Sunday in Miami.
The week leading up to Edelman’s injury Greg Salas was released and was subsequently signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. These losses left the Patriots with three receivers and one tight end regularly used in the passing game. The Patriots remaining receivers are stars Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker as well as 2008 draft pick Matthew Slater who has seen minimal time this season. That leaves the Patriots in possible need of another receiver.
The Patriots had traded Salas and veteran Deion Branch between the active roster and practice squad all season but recently released Branch citing a hamstring injury. Some felt that Branch’s injury was overstated and he would return following the departure of Salas but that doesn’t seem to be the case. In possible need of another receiver for Sunday’s game, the Patriots worked out Stallworth on Wednesday and may decide to sign him as early as Thursday.
With injuries mounting to receivers the Patriots are searching for a short term fix. It’s currently unknown whether Edelman will be able to play Sunday as he has been limited in practice this week after suffering a concussion in the team’s win last Thursday night.
His replacement for this week may be a familiar face in Stallworth who nearly made the team out of training camp and worked out for the team Wednesday. Having played with quarterback Tom Brady in 2007 and spent training camp with him this season, he would be a likely addition.