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Benjamin Watson was the Patriots’ number one tight end in 2019 despite playing through a torn Achilles

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Related: Jason McCourty reveals he recently underwent surgery on his groin

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have seen some gritty performances in recent memory — from Rodney Harrison initially staying on the field in Super Bowl 38 despite fracturing his forearm, to Logan Mankins playing the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL, to Julian Edelman just this season suffering a multitude of injuries (including two that will require surgery) but not missing a single game. Now, another name can be added to this list: Benjamin Watson.

The veteran tight end, who ended his retirement just four months in to (re-)join New England last offseason, recently took to social media to reveal that he played through a torn Achilles tendon in 2019. Watson noted that he hurt his “good Achilles”, which indicates that this recent injury impacted his left leg: he already tore his right Achilles when he was with the Baltimore Ravens, and was forced to miss the entire 2016 season because of it.

Considering that he did not appear on an injury report even once throughout New England’s season, it is now known at this time when exactly the 39-year-old suffered the injury. What we do know is that it is just the latest chapter in what was a tumultuous year for Watson: not only did he return from retirement to play with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2004, he also had to miss four games because of a league-mandated PED suspension.

Watson, who was not immediately reactivated after his suspension, eventually returned to the Patriots’ 53-man roster and went on to appear in 10 regular season contests and one playoff game for the team as its number one tight end in terms of playing time. In this role, the veteran caught 20 passes for a combined 211 yards — best at his position and an impressive output considering that at least parts of it were produced on a torn Achilles.

Given the injury in combination with his age and impending unrestricted free agency, however, Watson is headed towards an uncertain future yet again. While he has not announced his retirement just yet, he already hinted towards a departure from the Patriots after the team’s season-ending defeat against the Tennessee Titans. Whether this means another potentially final retirement or just a relocation to another team remains to be seen.