Benjamin Watson ready to contribute in return to Patriots

Ryan Hannable
October 17, 2019 - 5:23 pm

FOXBOROUGH -- It's been quite the week for Benjamin Watson.

Listen to your team news NOW.

The 38-year-old was released by the Patriots on Oct. 7, but then following some injuries on the offensive side of the ball was re-signed on Oct. 15. Watson spent the entire summer with the Patriots and then served his four-game suspension at the start of the year. When his roster exemption expired and he was not activated to the roster, he was immediately released.

Now that Watson is back in the fold and tight end Matt LaCosse seems likely to miss Monday's game against the Jets, it appears Watson will finally make his 2019 debut.

“It’s been a while, so I’m excited to play a real football game Monday night, no less,” he said Thursday. “It doesn’t get any bigger than that, so I’m definitely looking forward to playing a real football game against a real opponent on live TV. It’s going to be really exciting.”

Even though he's been back just a few days, Watson feels ready to contribute.

“One thing about this place is they prepare the players to play,” he said. “And so anybody who’s out there no matter if you’ve been here the entire time or you’ve been here for a week, your job is to perform when called upon, so that’s what I expect to do.”

Over the first six games of the season, Patriots tight ends only have nine catches, so it would not be a surprise to see Tom Brady immediately target Watson in his return to the field.

“It’s a work in progress,” Watson said of his current connection with the Patriots quarterback. “Definitely a work in progress. It can get better. That comes with me getting acclimated to playing again. It comes with gaining trust. We talk a lot about trust and being dependable, those types of things build day after day. And so we’re always in that process no matter if it’s Week 7 or Week 17. It can always be better. And that’s what we’re doing not only in the film room but also on the practice field.”

Watson certainly still seems capable of contributing, as he finished last season with the Saints by totaling 35 catches for 400 yards and two touchdowns.

Related: Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett among 4 Patriots limited