Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Alan Branch on playing only 6 snaps vs. Saints: 'Ask Bill'

Ryan Hannable
September 20, 2017 - 5:55 pm

FOXBORO -- After being one of the biggest contributors on the Patriots defense last season, it's been a reduced role thus far for defensive tackle Alan Branch.

Branch played 62 percent of the snaps against the Chiefs in Week 1, but then just six snaps against the Saints on Sunday. 

Speaking at his locker on Wednesday, Branch was asked about the reduction in playing time.

“That’s something you’ll have to ask Bill,” he said. “That’s not my pay grade or for me to talk about. That’s a question to ask Bill. Every player wants to be on the field. It is what it is.”

The 32-year-old is traditionally a slow starter, but never has played this few snaps in a game early on in the year.

“You don’t want to peak at the beginning of the year,” he said. “Having more plays and having more consistent, day-in day-out football makes it a lot easier. In the offseason, you can’t put on pads and hit your local grocery store clerk in practice playing three-technique. You can but you might get arrested, but that’s the plan. Just get better throughout the year and peak at the right time.”

So will he play more against the Texans this week?

“I don’t know what they plan to do with me," Branch said. "I just know I have to go in there and keep my [nose] to the grindstone and work. They have a lot of weapons — [Deshaun] Watson, [DeAndre] Hopkins and a stable of running backs. We definitely have our work ahead of us.”

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