The New England Patriots will have to wait another week to see if Benjamin Watson is the answer to their tight end problems. Per Field Yates of ESPN, Watson will not travel with the team to Washington for Sunday’s game against the Redskins and remain off the team’s 53-man roster for Week 5.
The Patriots have until 4 p.m. Saturday to activate Watson. Per Doug Kyed of NESN, if the Patriots choose not to activate Watson, the Patriots have the option to lift his exemption by Monday — but Watson could be released if they don’t make the transaction by then.
Watson was suspended for the first four games of the season by the league for failing a drug test. In a Facebook post earlier this year, Watson explained that he was prescribed Bio Identical Testosterone Cypionate in an attempt to help him heal quicker following what was originally set to be the end of his playing days (Watson was planning to retire at the end of the 2018 season). Watson was drug tested by the NFL when he was contemplating a comeback and failed the test as the drug is banned by the league.
The Patriots have received little-to-nothing at the tight end position this season, the first year after Rob Gronkowski retired. Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse have a combined four catches for 77 yards on the year.
Watson, a first-round pick by the Patriots in 2004, had 167 catches for 2,102 yards and 20 touchdown in his first stint with the team from 2004 to 2009. The 38-year-old Watson had 25 catches for 400 yards and two touchdowns with the New Orleans Saints last year and has 530 catches for 5,885 yards and 44 touchdowns in 14 seasons.