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Patriots place DT Alan Branch on Non-Football Injury list

The veteran reportedly has a hip injury.

The New England Patriots officially start their 2016 training camp today. Players have already reported to the team earlier this week and have gone through physicals and conditioning work to find out who is ready to practice and who needs more time.

Consequently, the Patriots have placed seven players on the physically unable to perform list. According to Mike Reiss, the team has also placed defensive tackle Alan Branch on the non-football injury list:

Patriots DT Alan Branch is opening training camp on the active/non-football injury list. Opens door for Terrance Knighton to take his reps.

Branch, who also started last year's camp on the list because of a failed conditioning test, reported to camp with a minor hip injury that forced him to sit out this year's conditioning run, according to Jeff Howe. Until he can take and pass the test, the 31-year old will have to watch training camp from the sidelines.

As Reiss noted, this opens the door for other defensive tackles to earn more reps. Branch is one of only two defensive tackles to have been on the team last season, so the added opportunities for new acquisitions might help them grow within New England's defensive system.

As is the case with the PUP list, the Patriots can activate players on NFI at any point during training camp, given they are ready to practice.