FOXBORO -- With a season-ending ankle injury to Donte' Stallworth on his 63-yard TD Monday night, the Patriots ended speculation Wednesday by officially re-signing receiver Deion Branch. In addition, the Patriots signed rookie receiver Tony Logan to the practice squad.
The 33-year-old Branch injured his hamstring in early Nov. and was released on Nov. 17 after catching nine passes for 80 yards during the first seven weeks of the season. Stallworth was replaced by Greg Salas and Julian Edelman. When Edelman was placed on the injured reserve list last week, Stallworth was signed to take his place and contributed with a touchdown catch against the Texans. On the play, he was tackled from behind and suffered the ankle injury.
"Same thing he brought to the team before," coach Bill Belichick said of Branch's return for a third time this season. "With Donte' out, he gives us a good level of experience, knows our system, has played for us and we have confidence in him."
Branch was originally selected by the Patriots in the second round (65th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft out of Louisville. He was traded by the Patriots to the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 11, 2006, and then reacquired through a trade with Seattle on Oct. 12, 2010. Branch was released by the Patriots on Aug. 31 and re-signed on Sept. 19 before being released again on Nov. 17.
Branch has played in 137 games with 110 starts and accumulated 511 receptions for 6,579 yards and 39 touchdowns. He has played in 15 postseason games with 13 starts and has 62 receptions for 932 yards and four touchdowns. His 24 receptions in three Super Bowls are third all time to the 33 by Jerry Rice (four Super Bowls) and the 27 by Andre Reed (four Super Bowls).
Logan served as a reserve wide receiver and the primary punt returner in college at Maryland for three seasons. As a senior in 2011, he played in 11 games as a punt returner, kickoff returner and wide receiver and returned 16 punts for 96 yards and 15 kicks for 316 yards. He led the ACC and ranked third nationally with an average of 18.1 yards per punt return in 2010.
Branch is expected to assume the third receiver spot behind Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker.
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