By Eric Schmidt

At the start of the 2012 regular season, the New England Patriots receiving corps was exceptionally deep. After 12 weeks however, the roster is becoming perilously thin at the receiver position. The Patriots have just four receivers on their current roster, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Matthew Slater and Julian Edelman. Edelman however, suffered an apparent concussion on Thanksgiving night after receiving a helmet-to-helmet blow from S LaRon Landry.

Injury news coming out of the Patriots front office is tougher to get than the combination to the lock at Fort Knox. However, if Edelman is unable to go next week, New England will be down to just three receivers on the roster. Greg Salas was waived and has been claimed by the Philadelphia Eagles. Will the Patriots look to bring back veteran Deion Branch now?

Branch was released a week ago in order to clear a roster spot for CB Aqib Talib and to allow the promotion of Greg Salas to the roster. Salas was subsequently waived in order to allow the Patriots to add OL Marcus Zusevics to the roster prior to their game against the Jets.

Former Patriots WR Jabar Gaffney was waived by the Miami Dolphins earlier this week but it was announced yesterday that he now faces a two-game league imposed suspension for an unknown violation so he could be of no immediate help to the Patriots.

Prior to his release, Branch had been listed on the Patriots injury report with a hamstring issue. It’s not known his current health, but if he is able to play Sunday, look for the Patriots to add Branch to the roster once again.

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