Pats start cuts with TEs Ballard and Fells

Updated: August 30, 2013

Foxborough, MA (Sports Network) – In moves that may indicate All-Pro tight end
Rob Gronkowski will not be placed on the physically unable to perform list,
the New England Patriots released veteran tight ends Daniel Fells and Jake
Ballard on Friday.

Gronkowski has been out the entire preseason after undergoing multiple
surgeries on his forearm and back, and there has been no official timetable
for his return.

Ballard, 24, was claimed off waivers and awarded to the Patriots from the New
York Giants in June of 2012. He was attempting to return from a a knee injury
he sustained in Super Bowl XLVI which caused him to miss the entire 2012

Fells is a veteran of six NFL seasons and caught four passes for 85 yards in
13 games for the Patriots last season.

New England also released eight other players on Friday: defensive end Marcus
Benard, receiver Johnathan Haggerty, linebacker Mike Rivera, offensive lineman
Luke Patterson, fullback Ben Bartholomew, defensive linemen Gilbert Pena and
Scott Vallone and offensive lineman Matt Stankiewitch.

The Pats roster now stands at 65 players. All NFL teams are required to cut
down to 53 players by 6 pm ET on Saturday, August 31.