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Draft Scout *Alan Branch News
01/11/17 - DT Alan Branch was not seen on the practice field during media viewing on either Jan. 5 or Jan. 10, although he returned on Jan. 11 and was not included on the New England injury report. According to the Boston Herald, Branch missed practice due to the birth of a child.
12/28/16 - DT Alan Branch is a bit of a journeyman in NFL circles. The 10-year veteran opened his career as a second-round pick out of Michigan with the Cardinals from 2007-10. He then spent a couple seasons in Seattle and a year in Buffalo before finding what has become a very nice fit on the Patriots defense.
Branch has started each of the first 15 games this season and heading into Sunday's finale in Miami is set to play in all 16 games for the second straight year. Celebrating his 32nd birthday this week, Branch may be in the midst of his best season. He ranks seventh on the Patriots third-ranked rushing defense with 46 tackles, including a career-high eight for a loss, as well as 1.5 sacks, two passes defensed and a forced fumble.
"Branch has been by far our most consistent defensive tackle," Belichick declared, emphasizing that he's looking for more from second-year former first-round defensive tackle Malcom Brown. "The other guys can shoot to get up to his level."
"I'm playing the same ball," Branch said of his season. "(Opponents) just so happen to be rolling 'em out in my direction, I guess. I'm able to make more plays and do well. Compliments to the scheme and everything. It's allowing me to play pretty good."
12/05/16 - DE Alan Branch won his appeal of a four-game NFL drug suspension and will not miss any time. The Patriots were notified of Branch's successful appeal Dec. 2, ending what the veteran says was a "crazy situation."
11/21/16 - DT Alan Branch was suspended four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Branch, 31, tested positive for marijuana and will reportedly appeal the ban. Four separate positive marijuana tests are required for a player to receive a four-game suspension under the league's policy on the drug.
11/16/16 - DT Alan Branch (back) remains limited in practice, although the injury has not affected his game reps.