Donte’ Stallworth’s 2012 season with the New England Patriots began and, unfortunately, ended with the Patriots’ 42-14 dismantling of the Houston Texans Monday night.
The team announced this afternoon that Stallworth had been placed on the Injured Reserved list with an ankle injury.
Also, the team announced that Tight End Visanthe Shiancoe has been released and Offensive lineman Tommie Draheim has been released from the practice squad.
In his Patriots debut and finale, the 32 year old Stallworth caught one pass, but it was a biggie, scoring on a 63 yard catch and run that illustrated why New England brought him back. He caught the ball on his fingertips, then pulled it into his body, making a couple of nice cuts before lowering his shoulder and bullying his way into the end zone.
His injury left the team thin at the reciever position, right where they were when they signed Stallworth last week. There has been no word on what direction the Patriots may go to bulk up the depth, but naturally the names of the hamstrung Deion Branch and the suspended Jabar Gaffney will arise as possibilities.
There are already reports that Branch may indeed be on his way back. His locker has remained intact in the locker room since his release.
The only thing surprising about Shiancoe’s release is the timing. With the San Francisco 49ers on tap for this Sunday evening with their relentless pass rush and stout run defense, one would think that his services would be required.
Naturally, Shiancoe’s release has already fueled speculative rumors that injured Tight End Rob Gronkowski has progressed to a point where he could be on the active roster this Sunday, though the two offer different skill sets.
The free agent pick up from the Minnesota Vikings had seen little action, but failed to impress in his few opportunities – the most diappointing issue in his tenure was that the lone Non- Season ending IR tag was used on him, showing how much the Patriots had counted on him being a big part of the offense.