Brandon LaFell traveling with Patriots to get in comfort mode
By Doug Kyed
The Patriots wide receiver ran sprints prior to the team’s matchups with the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts then stood on the sideline instilling some knowledge on the Patriots’ less experienced players. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained why LaFell is traveling with the team despite being inactive.
“I would say in Brandon’s case, he’s a player that I think at some point will be back on the roster,” Belichick said Wednesday. “We’ll see exactly when that is, I’m not sure. The fact that he wasn’t with us in preseason, and as it’s moving in that direction, I think being there on game day, going through the whole preparation, the Saturday night, game day and so forth, that gets a player in a more comfortable mode when he actually does that. The things he can talk to other players about, particularly a younger player like Keshawn Martin, who hasn’t been in our system for very long, to see things during the game that might help him out, I think it helps him, and it helps the player that he’s trying to instruct.”
LaFell, who was placed on PUP before the season with a foot injury after failing to participate in training camp, can return to practice this week and play against the New York Jets on Sunday. Belichick said Tuesday that LaFell will likely begin practicing this week. LaFell recently has been warming up with his teammates before practice.
“Yeah, we probably will. We’ll probably talk about that a little more today when we get with the trainers and see how the workouts went today and so forth,” Belichick said. “It’s definitely something that we will be talking about now with players that are in that category, but we haven’t made a final decision on that. But those are definitely possibilities, really all three guys.”
LaFell caught 74 passes for 953 yards with seven touchdowns in 16 games and 13 starts for the Patriots last season. He added 13 receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns in three postseason games.
Martin, who was acquired from the Houston Texans in a trade last month, has served as the Patriots’ “X” receiver for the last two games, passing Aaron Dobson on the depth chart. Julian Edelman mostly plays the “Z” role, while Danny Amendola lines up in the slot. LaFell likely will take over the “X” spot, pushing Martin down to fourth on the pecking order and Dobson potentially off the roster.
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