The New England Patriots are dealing with some injuries at the tight end position, as Steve Maneri, who ran a bad route that led to a pick-six by Cary Williams, was the only healthy player at the position in their most recent preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Rob Gronkowski and Michael Hoomananwanui are also on the roster with third-stringer D.J. Williams, but the Patriots would ideally like to have another pass-catching TE emerge as the TE2 behind Gronk, whose long-term health is obviously far from a certainty.
CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran reports that the New England Patriots have re-signed undrafted rookie free agent Justin Jones, who was released not too long ago. It’s good to see Jones back on the squad, and hopefully he can make an impression in the preseason and stick on the roster…unlike Zach Sudfeld last year. Jones has terrific measurables and mouth-watering upside, but the East Carolina product is also as raw as they come. I’m not sure if he would stick on the practice squad, but he could be ticketed for the p-squad if he is OK but doesn’t flash enough in the preseason.
The Patriots don’t need Jones when it comes to running twin-TE sets, especially since they have plenty of depth at WR and some size from new backup wideout Brandon LaFell, who is part of the huge competition at the position for depth chart spots. But the Patriots do need Jones as insurance, because they need another TE who can command attention from defenses in the passing game should anything unfortunate happen to Gronkowski again. With the injuries at TE, Jones has a golden opportunity to impress and stay on the roster in his second stint.