FOXBOROUGH, Mass — Tight end Ben Watson has returned to the Patriots after his four-game PED suspension to start the season and joins a group of tight ends that’s struggled this year.

The position has accounted for four passes in as many weeks within an offense averaging more than 25 points per game. Former seventh-round pick Ryan Izzo has started three of the Pats’ four games after serving in a reserve role for most of the preseason.

Watson’s return, along with the release of offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch on Tuesday, could be a sign the 38-year-old tight end is expected to play Sunday at Washington. Watson was granted a roster exemption Monday, which temporarily allowed the team to carry a 54th player on its active roster.

The exemption expires Saturday at 4 p.m.

“Fortunately, Ben has a lot of experience in our system and has been with us all through the spring and training camp, so hopefully he’ll be able to recall what he did and the things that are new,” Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said.

Last year in New Orleans, Watson grabbed 35 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns. He signed with the Pats in the spring following a brief retirement and has since been working to reacquaint himself with the offense. The Patriots drafted Watson in the first round in 2004, and he played six seasons before leaving for stints with the Saints, Browns and Ravens.


• The Patriots also released veteran wide receiver Cameron Meredith on Tuesday. Meredith was placed on the physically unable to play list after signing on Aug. 2. The former Saint and Bear was unable to recover from a knee injury that forced his release from New Orleans.

The Pats also cut ties with practice squad linebacker Scooby Wright.

RAVENS: Baltimore waived outside linebacker Tim Williams, a third-round pick from Alabama in the 2017 NFL draft who managed just two sacks over 19 career games.

He played only seven snaps in a 40-25 loss to Cleveland in Week 4. Williams had just two tackles over four games this season. Last month, Ravens Coach John Harbaugh said Williams was one of the players the team needed more production from.

Baltimore signed former Eagles and Steelers linebacker L.J. Fort on Monday.

PANTHERS: Carolina placed veteran defensive tackle Kawann Short on injured reserve on Tuesday. He will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff and will miss the rest of the season.

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