New England Patriots helmet during the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. The Ravens defeated the Patriots 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots set to bring back D.J. Williams

The New England Patriots aren’t going to be replacing Rob Gronkowski any time soon, but they still need to look for options to help replenish the depth they lost at the tight end position. Gronkowski is out of the season with an ACL and MCL tear in his right knee after taking a brutal hit from Cleveland Browns strong safety T.J. Ward, and it’s just more bad luck for the Patriots. Although it will be difficult, the Patriots passing attack can move on from this injury by receiving more outstanding play from Tom Brady, as well as getting wide receivers like Danny Amendola to step up in a major way.

The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reports that the New England Patriots will re-sign tight end D.J. Williams as depth at the position following Gronkowski’s injury, and it’s a move that definitely wouldn’t come as a surprise. Even though Williams doesn’t offer much, adding depth at TE is a key for the Pats now, and there is hope that Williams could be a pass-catching piece at TE.

What is interesting about Williams is the fact that he has skill as a receiving tight end, and he actually fits the bill of a young player (25) who could break out of nowhere and produce. Williams has barely played in the league and that may be for a reason (you know, maybe he just stinks), but there’s also an inkling of optimism that Williams has just been a victim of opportunity and could surprise us all with more snaps. It will be interesting to see how many snaps he gets and where he is listed on the depth chart, but he’ll likely just be a No. 2 TE at best and mere depth for the Patriots.

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  • MikeInMaine

    This TE is a nobody. We should have held on to Zach – and trained him. He was an absolute stud in camp and preseason!! OR!!! Where is Daniel Fells???

    • Joe Soriano

      I really liked Sudfeld, and he had plenty of upside; Pats gave up on him too soon. Fells did a nice job as a blocker last year, but I think the Patriots wanted to go with someone who is more of a pass-catching TE since they probably like Hooman (he’s struggled this year, though) and Mulligan as blockers.

      Btw, I didn’t appreciate the comment on the Dobson piece insulting my knowledge of the Patriots. I covered the team for over a year as the Patriots blogger on this network, and I know both of those players very well. I didn’t mention Vereen since I was specifically addressing WRs, but I know as well as anyone that Vereen is one of the most explosive players in the game and has the ability to split out wide and create mis-matches with ease.

      As for Boyce, he runs a forty in the low 4.4s, was a polished route-runner at TCU, and averaged a high amount of YPC. He hasn’t played much this season and hasn’t been as much of a factor as I thought he would be, so that’s why I left him off; he hasn’t done much. He can certainly stretch the field, but I was specifically focusing on the “X” position. I didn’t say they didn’t HAVE anyone who can do that (if I did, then that was a mistake) against the Browns, but I said that it would be DIFFICULT for them to stretch the field against them on the outside without KT and Dobson.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting on the site a few times, though. Always love talking football, and hopefully we can have plenty of good comments; I just took issue with that one.