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Reiss: Patriots TE Martellus Bennett’s ankle injury “more significant than many realized”

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The Patriots tight end is dealing with a major ankle injury.

New England Patriots TE Martellus Bennett originally suffered an ankle injury on October 9th, week 5 against the Cleveland Browns. He reinjured his ankle in week 12 against the New York Jets. After seeing 5+ targets in seven of the first nine games along with three 100+ yard games, Bennett has seen 5+ targets in two of the past eight games and has exceeded 35 yards just once. He just hasn’t been producing.

I originally thought that the Patriots were trying to preserve Bennett for the postseason, and were keeping him out of harms way, preparing to release him when the games mattered most.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports that Bennett is dealing with a far more severe injury than believed.

“Veteran tight end Martellus Bennett has earned the respect of many around the Patriots this year for his toughness, not missing a game despite being slowed by ankle, shoulder and knee injuries,” Reiss shares in his weekly notes. The injury to his ankle, which originally occurred Oct. 9, was more significant than many realized and it wouldn't be a surprise if it requires attention in the offseason. Say this about Bennett: He's given the Patriots everything he has this year.”

Bennett could require surgery this offseason to repair his ankle. It’s clear that the Patriots want Bennett in New England moving forward, and the feeling is mutual. But can the Patriots afford to head into 2017 with two injured tight ends? Will the injury affect contract negotiations? Will tight end still be a priority in the next draft?

We’ll find out- and maybe we’ll see if Bennett has another great game or two in him this year.