The New England Patriots are short-handed at tight end so James Develin is getting another chance to show the versatility that has earned praise from coach Bill Belichick.

Rob Gronkowski isn't ready for full-time practice as he continues his recovery from knee surgery. Michael Hoomanawanui has been sidelined the past two practices with an undisclosed injury.

So Develin is getting more practice time at tight end while continuing to run plays from his usual fullback position.

Belichick says Develin is a bit like a relief pitcher. He says Develin has a role, but sometimes you don't know when that role is going to occur. Develin is coming off his first full NFL season and was primarily a blocker.



AP NFL website: and