Saturday, December 22, 2012
Following up on a few Aiken thoughts
By Mike Reiss
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Sharing a few thoughts on the promotion of receiver Kamar Aiken to the 53-man active roster, as he fills the final open spot:
1. Aiken is a bigger receiver at 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds.
2. His promotion highlights a lack of depth at receiver behind Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker and Deion Branch. Similar to a preseason game, if the Patriots are in a position to rest some players in the final two weeks of the season, depending on the score, they need to have options on the roster to turn to. Aiken fills that type of role.
3. Aiken has some special teams experience as a coverage player (1 career tackle, Dec. 24, 2011 vs. Broncos, when playing for Bills).
4. In recent weeks, Aiken has been playing the opposing team's top receiver on the scout team. Prior to the Dec. 2 game against the Dolphins, he earned a practice player of the week honor for his work as Brian Hartline. The following week, he played the role of Texans' top target Andre Johnson.
5. Aiken initially signed with the Bills as a rookie free agent out of Central Florida and spent most of 2011 on their practice squad before being promoted for two games last year. He was on the Bills' practice squad at the start of 2012, before being let go and hooking on with the Bears practice squad for about a month.