Ban would be another blow to New England’s front seven.
It’s beginning to sound like the Patriots will be without one of their starters along the defensive line. Sources tell Doug Kyed for NESN.com that interior tackle Alan Branch has informed teammates of a suspension, the reason for which and length both are currently a mystery.
ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss also chimed in, noting that this is apparently a suspension from the team, not the league. Branch previously avoided a two-game suspension by the NFL in 2014 when he was to resolve a DUI charge.
It was that case that led the Bills to release Branch, driving him into the arms of their AFC East rivals. Since joining the Patriots, the 10-year veteran has appeared in 24 regular season games for New England, including 15 starts in 2015. He also helped the club win a Super Bowl title.
The Patriots are already down defensive ends Rob Ninkovich, Jaball Sheard and Shea McClellan at the moment, who have all sustained injuries this summer. With quarterback Tom Brady already out for the first four games, it seems the Patriots are destined to be shorthanded on both sides of the ball come the opener in September.