Pats sign Eckel; TE Spach released

By Os Davis  |   Tuesday, September 16, 2008  |  Comments( 3 )

New England Patriots
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The continuing story that claims the throat-grabbing attention of every Patriot Nation citizen and many an NFL fan gets a new chapter today, as the New England Patriots announced the re-signing of fullback Kyle Eckel and the release of tight end Stephen Spach.

Commentary:
Eckel appeared likely to make the regular-season roster early in 2008, but was cut on Aug. 26. Heath Evans remained the sole true fullback through the first two games, as Spach was kept around presumably as backup option to dinged-up Benjamin Watson.

Last season, Eckel appeared in 12 games for the Patriots in his rookie season, capping it off statistically with a 10-carry, 40-yard, one-TD performance against the Buffalo Bills in Week 11.

Re-taking on Eckel would appear to create something of an imbalance on the New England roster temporarily, with six running backs (Eckel joins Evans, Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Lamont Jordan and Kevin Faulk) against just two tight ends (Watson, David Thomas).

Fantasy Football Impact: They like to spread those carries in New England, and so thin (not to mention unpredictable) will the stats for all Patriot RBs become. Owners of Morris have to be loving life (or at least not bemoaning drafting Maroney in the third round), as Morris seems to have been established as a legitimate red-zone TD threat.

Injury watch: At tight end, the Spach release surely indicates that Watson’ll be back as starter there; of course, he’ll also be mostly blocking for Matt Cassel and that smorgasbord of a running game so that 3 percent of fantasy owners holding Watson (sigh) still won't be seeing many stats out of him.
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About Os Davis

Os Davis has taken a twisted route to get to RealFootball365.com in his nearly 17 years in professional writing, working in any number of capacities in the sportswriting, news reporting and film criticism worlds. In print media, Os has served as editor at a few publications, including Albuquerque's...
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