The Patriots declined to pick up Branch's 2018 contract option Tuesday, and he will now be a free agent this offseason, Doug Kyed of NESN.com reports.
Branch picked up six starts and appeared in 12 total games but was ultimately passed up on the depth chart in favor of Ricky Jean Francois and ended up being a healthy scratch in the Super Bowl. The veteran Branch said he intends to continue playing football, so he'll be on the lookout for a new home this offseason.
Branch (knee) does not appear on Wednesday's injury report.
Branch hasn't taken the field since Week 14 of the regular season when he originally injured the meniscus in one of his knees. However, his absence from the injury report suggests that problem is now a thing of the past.
Branch (knee) is inactive for Sunday's AFC championship tilt against Jacksonville.
Branch was limited at practice throughout the week but is still struggling to get back to 100 percent after injuring his knee in Week 15 of the regular season. Expect Ricky Jean Francois, who has played well in relief of Branch, to see some extra snaps once again this week.
Branch (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday's AFC championship game against the Jaguars.
Branch was a limited participant in practice this week after being forced to sit out last week's divisional-round victory over the Titans. The 33-year-old was limited last week as well, so his availability is likely to be a game-time decision.
Branch (knee) is officially inactive for Saturday's divisional-round game against the Titans.
Branch was listed as questionable after being a limited practice participant this week, and had earlier indicated that he expected to play Saturday. The Patriots' coaching staff evidently felt otherwise, with Ricky Jean Francois likely to see an increased rotational role at defensive tackle.
Branch (knee) is listed as questionable for Saturday's game against the Titans.
Earlier in the week, Branch insisted that he feels ready to return to the field after missing the last three games with a meniscus injury, though it's far from guaranteed that the Patriots' coaching staff feels the say way. If he's ultimately ruled out, Ricky Jean Francois would likely in store for another handful of defensive reps.
Branch (knee) was a limited participant at the Patriots' practice Wednesday.
Branch sat out the final three games of the regular season and also had the Patriots' first round bye to rest up. Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports the 33-year-old "feels good to go" for Saturday's divisional-round matchup against the Titans.
Branch (knee) will remain sidelined for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Jets.
Branch's absence will mark his third consecutive game missed. As a result, Ricky Jean Francois figures to continue seeing extended run providing depth at defensive tackle. The Patriots have a first-round bye in the playoffs, so Branch will have some extra time to recover.
Branch (knee) was ruled out for Sunday's game against the Bills.
Branch was expected to be sidelined a few weeks due to the meniscus issue, so this was to be expected. Ricky Jean-Francois and Adam Butler should serve as reserve defensive tackles while Branch remains sidelined.
Branch (knee) is dealing with a "meniscus issue," but will not require surgery to address the matter, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Branch, who missed the Week 15 victory over the Steelers, is expected to be sidelined a few weeks due to the injury. However, the fact he won't require surgery gives him a shot to return sometime in the postseason, depending on how the Patriots' season unfolds. In the meantime, Branch's absence likely opens the door for the recently signed Ricky Jean Francois to see added snaps along the defensive line.
Branch (knee) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Steelers, Doug Kyed of NESN.com reports.
Branch injured his knee in last week's loss to the Dolphins. He was unable to practice throughout the week, so this decision is relatively unsurprising. Ricky Jean Francois should see an increased role on the defensive line due to Branch's absence.
Branch (knee) did not participate in Wednesday's practice.
Branch was forced from Monday night's game against the Dolphins. His absence from Wednesday's practice indicates that Branch could be in danger of missing the Patriots' Week 15 matchup against the Steelers.
Branch will not return to Monday's game against the Dolphins due to a knee injury.
Branch left the game during the first half due to the issue but ultimately returned. However, he was unable to play through it and has since been ruled out by the team. The severity of the injury is not known at this time.
Branch did not travel with the team for Thursday's game against Tampa Bay, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports.
With Branch not appearing on the team's injury report Thursday, he is considered a healthy scratch, which doesn't come as much of a surprise considering the tackle has seen his playing time decline this season. Branch re-signed with the Patriots for $12 million over two years this offseason, but so far, he's been unable to perform to last season's level.
The Patriots activated Branch (undisclosed) from the preseason Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com reports.
Branch was back on the field for practice Monday for the first time all training camp after the minor injury resulted in him missing the Patriots' preseason opener last week. Considering the defensive tackle was unlikely to play more than a series or two in the first exhibition contest, he shouldn't be too far behind the rest of his fellow veterans in his preparation for the upcoming season. Branch is poised to start alongside Malcom Brown in the middle of the defensive line after logging a career-high 49 stops to go with 1.5 sacks in 2016.
The Patriots placed Branch (undisclosed) on their preseason Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, Adam Kurkjian of the Boston Herald reports.
The report notes that Branch, who normally skips a large portion of the Patriots' spring practices, typically stays on the team's PUP list until he passes a conditioning test. The 6-foot-6, 350-pounder is coming off a 2016 campaign in which he recorded 49 tackles and 1.5 sacks over the course of 16 regular-season contests. Branch is projected to start in the middle of the Patriots' defensive line along with fellow defensive tackle Malcom Brown.
Branch signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Patriots on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Branch is a key asset for the Patriots' strong run defense. His 6-foot-6, 350-pound frame clogs up holes in the middle of the line, and he's a key reason why New England ranked fourth in the NFL with only 88.4 rushing yards allowed per game in 2016. The deal will keep the 32-year-old Branch with the Patriots through the 2018 season.
Branch (toe) is listed as active for Sunday's Super Bowl LI against the Falcons.
During the second week of prep for the Super Bowl, Branch didn't elevate beyond a limited practice session due to a toe concern. Alas, he could be one of the key factors as he faces off with Atlanta center Alex Mack, who will play through a fractured left fibula in the finale of the 2016 season.
Branch (toe) is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's Super Bowl against the Falcons.
Branch was limited in practice by a toe injury this week, but he's expected to be ready in time for Sunday's 6:30 ET kickoff.
Branch (toe) 'should be good to go' for Sunday's Super Bowl, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Branch showed up on the injury report earlier in the week with a toe injury and was limited in practice, but looks like he will not be facing limitations for Sunday's Super Bowl game against the Falcons. He will be key in trying to slow down Atlanta's high-powered offense, specifically in the run game, where the Falcons boast two explosive backs in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.