Bye Bye Ben: Team places rookie on IR

<p>The New England Patriots, a team familiar with injury, adversity and controversy, are making final preparations to meet division rival Buffalo Bills this Sunday. Word from Foxboro today is that the team has lost it's rookie TE, Ben Watson for the season. </p> <p>Who will step up and fill in, who are the Patriots looking at? We have it for you inside, with this weeks injury report.</p>

New England Patriots TE Ben Watson at Gillette stadium April 24
(AP Photo)/Julia Malakie

Team announces injury list along with roster moves

TE Ben Watson pictured above, has been placed on Injured Reserve, effectively ending his rookie season. Watson, who was one of the last first round draft choices signed and brought into camp this season, joins fellow rookie first round holdout TE Kellen Winslow Jr. on the IR. Watson, was expected to become a big part of the pass offense and dangerous twin TE set that the Patriots use this season.

The Injury List:


OUT: TE Ben Watson (knee-ir)

DOUBTFUL: WR Deion Branch (knee)

QUESTIONABLE: RB Kevin Faulk (knee)

PROBABLE: QB Tom Brady (right shoulder), QB Jim Miller (right shoulder)


OUT: S Lawyer Milloy (forearm), QB J.P. Losman (lower leg), RB Shaud Williams (knee)


QUESTIONABLE: G Mike Pucillo (back), G Chris Villarrial (abdomen)



Roster Moves:

Placed on IR: TE Ben Watson
Signed: TE Jed Weaver


Watson hasn't been missed much this early in the season, as veterans Christian Fauria and former first round TE Daniel Graham have filled in well. Graham has become a weapon for QB Tom Brady for the first time since he was signed as a first round draft choice in 2002. Graham has the second most receptions on the team with 9 for 78 and 3 TDs.

Watson will be replaced on the roster by veteran TE Jed Weaver. Weaver was originally with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999 then moved on to the Dolphins in 2000-02 before arriving in San Francisco in March of last year. He played for the Broncos in 2003.

RB Kevin Faulk has missed the beginning of the season with a knee injury and continues to deal with the loss of his mother, who recently passed away. As Faulk continues to recover, the Patriots have been able to make due without his services, but running more single back formations and spread offenses with twin TE sets.

Expect the team to spell Dillon with FB Patrick Pass and RB Rabih Abdullah.

The injury to WR Deion Branch continues to be an issue this week. Branch was seen after the last game with steel crutches near his locker. He hasn't practiced much since the injury and is listed as doubtful on the injury report. The Patriots deep receiving corp makes it possible for head coach Bill Belichick to keep Branch on the bench until he's ready to return, and likely will do so, in order to give the player one more week to get back.

Former New England Patriot Lawyer Milloy is listed as OUT for this weeks matchup. Milloy was the center of a controversy when he was released just prior to the start of last season. He played a big part in the Bills blowout win over the Pats 31-0 in the season opener.


Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills will be broadcast on CBS at 1:00pm Eastern.
For more information on seating and game restrictions for Ralph Wilson Stadium, visit the Bills web site:

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