Report: Deion Branch Back With Patriots, Adds Depth to Receiving Corps


Report: Deion Branch Back With Patriots, Adds Depth to Receiving CorpsDeion Branch
's release from the Patriots at the end of training camp came as a surprise to many, especially after having such a great preseason. But the wide receiver's absence didn't last long.

Branch has rejoined the Patriots, according to Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe. The 33-year-old wideout said over the weekend that he hoped to be back in New England soon, and it looks like he got hit wish.

After a strong showing in a Week 1 win over the Titans, the Patriots struggled mightily in Week 2 as tight end Aaron Hernandez went down with an ankle injury. There was speculation that Branch could return to help fill Hernandez's void in the offense, but it appeared that Kellen Winslow's signing on Tuesday all but nixed that notion.

Branch's return makes sense now, though, as New England decided to cut recently acquired receiver Greg Salas along with a few other players later on Tuesday, allowing some room to bring back the 11-year veteran.

In 2010, Branch first returned to the Patriots via a trade from the Seattle Seahawks. His return was a memorable one, too, as he caught a touchdown pass from Brady in the waning minutes of a comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens — also, this week's opponent. 

Branch has 502 career receptions and 39 touchdowns, the majority of them coming during five-plus seasons with the Patriots.

Click here to see what Branch had to say about his return to the Patriots >>

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