Patriots have 'high hopes' for TE Jake Ballard
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Patriots have 'high hopes' for TE Jake Ballard

The Patriots have been pretty well set at tight end for the past few years. Rob Gronkowski @RobGronkowski turned in the most productive season by a tight end in NFL history back in 2011. Aaron Hernandez @AaronHernandez can be top-three player at that position.
But injuries have thrown what was a humongous advantage for New England into a state of flux. Gronkowski has a left forearm infection stemming from a couple of breaks to the bone last season and may not be ready to play in September. Hernandez recently underwent shoulder surgery. So, who's next? It's former Giants tight end Jake Ballard @TheJakeBallard.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald writes that the Patriots have "high hopes for Ballard," but he is still on the long road to recovery after he tore his left ACL during the 2012 Super Bowl, in which the Ballard's Giants defeated the Patriots.

Fantasy Analysis:

The Patriots might have high hopes for Ballard, but they really don't know what to expect from him this season. Howe suggests that the Pats may end up signing another free-agent tight end to help pick up the slack or even spend an early draft pick on that position.
I have no idea what to make of Gronkowski's tribulations. But reports on Hernandez's shoulder surgery make it seem relatively minor. He should be fine for the start of the season, and Ballard will most likely be an afterthought this year.

Boston Herald

1 Comment | Add Yours

3 injured TE's already on the roster, and their sights on a TE free-agent and draft pick...??? Someone pump the brakes. Pats could use a little help elsewhere. Maybe strengthening that torched defensive backfield would be more prudent ?

Posted by: 04/24/13 05:52 PM

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Brian Murphy -
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Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001, specializing in fantasy football and baseball. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I am a journalism/mass communication grad student at Cal State University, Northridge. I am aiming to be a sports reporter for a website, newspaper, magazine, anything. I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.
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