Bill Belichick leaves door open for Ben Watson return

Andy Hart
October 08, 2019 - 11:54 am
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In a mild surprise, the Patriots did not activate tight end Ben Watson to the team’s 53-man roster on Monday when the veteran’s roster exemption following his four-game NFL suspension ran out. That made Watson a free agent.

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Asked about the decision during his Tuesday morning press conference, Bill Belichick reiterated his comments from WEEI on Monday night that it related to the lack of an available roster spot.

“Like Ben, just we don’t have a roster spot for him right now. So, maybe that will change. But for the moment, that’s where it is,” Belichick said.

A follow-up question about Patriots young tight end’s Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo led to Belichick explaining that the tandem – which has combined for 7 catches for 138 yards and one touchdown in five games – has earned the right to continue to prove themselves in New England.

“They are both younger players that are developing and have some upside, have done a decent job for us,” Belichick said. “So we have a ways to go, but have had enough production that we want to keep working with them.”

Coincidence or not with the Watson decision pending, Izzo and LaCosse had their most productive games in Sunday’s win in Washington, combining for three catches for 61 yards, including Izzo’s wide-open 10-yard touchdown.

Related: Time for Josh Gordon to prove his worth