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Friday, November 25, 2011
Price's time could be here at WR

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With Chad Ochocinco not practicing today (his status will be updated on today’s injury report), and Deion Branch added to the injury report Thursday (hip, limited participation), an opportunity could be there for Taylor Price to seize.

That is some of the more relevant news from Gillette Stadium on Friday.

Branch’s status is the more pressing issue, given his standing as the team’s No.2 receiver. He had trouble getting loose during Monday’s win over the Chiefs, with Ochocinco replacing him during two first-half series before he finished the game.

But given the buzz that surrounds all-things Ochocinco, his absence from practice today figures to draw more attention, even though he’s been a disappointment as the team’s No. 3 receiver.

With Branch slowed, the door was opening for Ochocinco (11 catches) to play more than he has to this point. Take out his 60-snap game in Buffalo, when he played extensively because the Patriots were without tight end Aaron Hernandez and switched from a two-tight end to a three-receiver attack, and Ochocinco has averaged just 16 snaps per game.

Now, with the status of Branch and Ochocinco in some question, the next man up could be Price, the 2010 third-round draft choice. He’s battled his own injury issues – a hamstring injury knocked him out of the Giants game Nov. 6 – but he was healthy enough to play Monday vs. the Chiefs.

A few weeks ago, offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien talked about getting Price (18 snaps this year) on the field more.

The time for more could be now.