Some interesting things coming out of the locker rooms at Gillette Stadium this morning, where the Patriots will hold their final Sunday practice before next week's season opener against the Tennessee Titans. Let's get straight to them:
Not to be "that guy," but Deion Branch still has a fully stocked locker in the Patriots locker room.— Christopher Price (@cpriceNFL) September 2, 2012
Brian Waters'— Erik Scalavino (@PFWErik) September 2, 2012
#Patriots locker has been cleaned out.
Let's start with the apparent "bad news" tweet regarding Brian Waters. As many notice on the Patriots' official website, Waters is still listed on the "Reserve/Did Not Report" list, not the Active 53-man Roster list. We heard over the weekend that stuff was being delivered to his locker, and that he could be on his way back to Foxboro. But then we heard this.
Scalavino goes on to explain that Waters' name template and space is still in tact in the team's locker room, but it is just a lot emptier than it was two days ago. My thoughts on Waters remain the same: We could still see him this week in a Patriots uniform. You have to remember that he didn't sign until September 4 of last year. Today is September 2.
If he was going to retire, he was likely to have done it much earlier than now. He's a classy guy.
As for the very, very "good news" tweet about Deion Branch's locker being fully in tact, something may be on the horizon. If you'll notice on Branch's Twitter page, he's still got himself listed as a "New England Patriots WR" (read into that what you will). He's also quietly maintained strong hope that he'll be back with the team in the coming days.
Niko Koutouvides' locker is also reportedly still in tact, which could mean that he too could be on his way back to New England. There are still IR candidates on both sides of the ball (Visanthe Shiancoe and Tracy White), which could open the door for Koutouvides and Branch to return to the team.
But all of this is pure speculation on my part. Bill Belichick works in mysterious ways, so you just never know what will be coming next. Like I've said many times over the last few days: Stay Tuned.