Patriots

Patriots

Ben Watson's free agency will be short-lived, it seems.

The New England Patriots are expected to re-sign the 38-year-old tight end after releasing him a week ago, ESPN's Field Yates reported Monday.

Watson, who came out of retirement to sign with the Patriots in May, missed New England's first four games while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

He was eligible to play in Week 5 but didn't travel with the team to Washington, and New England didn't activate him prior to last Monday's deadline to activate a previously suspended player, making him a free agent.

The Patriots are thin at tight end, though -- only Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse suited up Thursday night against the New York Giants -- and Tom Brady could use a veteran presence like Watson.

New England placed fullback Jakob Johnson on injured reserve Friday, so Watson likely will take the roster spot he vacated.

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