Donte' Stallworth's season essentially started and ended on the same dramatic play Monday, as he landed on injured reserve Tuesday.
The Patriots wide receiver caught a 63-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the third quarter Monday night during New England's 42-14 rout of the Houston Texans.
The catch was the first of the season for Stallworth, who signed with the Patriots last week. However, he never got back on the field following the reception, and a day later the team announced he was going on IR due to an ankle injury.
Multiple media outlets reported that the Patriots plan to re-sign wide receiver Deion Branch to fill the roster vacancy.
Stallworth, 32, was at his peak during his first four NFL seasons, 2002-05 with the New Orleans Saints. During his final season in New Orleans, he achieved career highs with 70 receptions for 945 yards.
He played for New England in 2007 before seeing action in subsequent years with the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins.
Branch, a 33-year-old former Super Bowl MVP, was released by the Patriots for the second time this season on Nov. 17. In seven games this year, Branch had nine catches for 80 yards and no touchdowns.
The Patriots made two other moves Tuesday, releasing tight end Visanthe Shiancoe from the active roster and dropping offensive lineman Tommie Draheim from the practice squad.
Shiancoe, 32, missed the first half of the season due to a hamstring injury. He wound up playing in four games, but he had no receptions. He was a mainstay with the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings in previous seasons.
Draheim, 23, was an non-drafted free agent when spent training camp with the Green Bay Packers. He wound up seeing time on the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad before joining New England's practice squad.