Patriots Pick Up WR Leonard Hankerson

Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire

The Patriots continued a busy week by adding former Atlanta Falcons WR Leonard Hankerson to their roster, as first reported by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

Hankerson is still fifth on the Falcons in receiving yards, even though he had only played in eight games for the team this season. With 327 receiving yards on the season off of 26 catches, Hankerson has an outside shot at topping his previous career best for receiving yards in a season, with was 543 in 2012. Before this season with the Falcons, Hankerson played with the Washington Redskins from his 2011 debut until 2014, when he only played in one game and did not make any catches.

It will be interesting to see if Bill Belichick and his coaching staff intend to use Hankerson in the next few games with frequency, or if he will simply be an emergency option for an offense that has been racked with injuries. Rob Gronkowski has missed one game; Julian Edelman has missed four, and perhaps more; and Brandon LaFell has missed five games. Hankerson will presumably have a legitimate chance to compete against waiver pick-up Keyshawn Martin, who has 13 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns in his first six games as a Patriot.

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