New Patriots TE Eric Tomlinson had one crazy week

Ryan Hannable
October 19, 2019 - 6:00 am

FOXBOROUGH -- For most NFL free agents, signing with a new team in the middle of the season and having to get caught up on the playbook is crazy enough. 

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New Patriots tight end Eric Tomlinson took that to a whole new level this week. He traveled back-and-forth from Texas to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.

Tomlinson first arrived in New England Monday night, signed his contract and was on the practice field Tuesday morning. Then, he got back on a plane immediately afterwards to fly back to Texas in time to see his son -- Leslie Stone Tomlinson -- be born.

It wasn't a long stay, as he was back on a plane Wednesday night to get back in time for Patriots practice Thursday in preparation for Monday night's game against the Jets.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” Tomlinson said Friday. “It’s been crazy, hectic, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m so glad I got to be there because our off day was Wednesday. It was a great experience."

In 39 career games, Tomlinson has 16 catches for 193 yards and one touchdown, but is more known for being a blocking tight end -- even seeing some time at fullback.

"In my previous teams, I’ve done both. I feel comfortable doing both,“ he said. “My playing style is gritty. Trying to finish every play. I’m just trying to do whatever is asked of me. Special teams, whatever it is.”

With Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo likely out, Tomlinson should be one of two tight ends (along with Benjamin Watson) active against one of his former teams.

“It’s kind of surreal. It’s going to be fun to go out there and play against all those guys,” he said. “I know them all real well.”

Following the final practice of the week Saturday, Tomlinson then will get some time to catch his breath before Monday's game.

Related: Patriots TE Ryan Izzo (concussion) misses practice Friday