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Patriots release Branch; Hernandez likely out Sunday

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By PFW staff

The Patriots could be without TE Aaron Hernandez on Sunday against the Colts, but that didn't stop them from releasing WR Deion Branch for the second time this season.

Branch and DB Malcolm Williams were cut, and WR Greg Salas was promoted from the practice squad. CB Aqib Talib also officially was added to the roster.

NFL Network first reported that Hernandez could miss Sunday's game after he had been listed as questionable with an ankle injury. WRs Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Branch (before he was released) all are listed as questionable, which means Salas could be active.

The Patriots acquired Salas in a preseason trade with the Rams, leading them to release Branch the first time before he was added to the roster thereafter. The Patriots traded for Talib, who is expected to make his Patriots debut Sunday, prior to the trade deadline. He had to sit out the prior game as the final game in a four-game suspension he earned while with the Buccaneers.

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