Desperate for help after a series of injuries decimated their receiving corps, the New England Patriots Wednesday signed veteran wideout Henry Ellard for the rest of the season.
Injuries to Terry Glenn, Troy Brown and Vincent Brisby forced the Patriots to resurrect the 37-year-old former Los Angeles Rams great and place him in the lineup this week against the Indianapolis Colts.
"He worked out very well (Tuesday) and was very precise about his routes," Patriots coach Pete Carroll said.
Ellard has recorded seven 1,000-yard seasons. He is third in all-time receiving yardage with 13,662 and fourth in receptions with 807.
"That just kind of changed my whole career," Ellard said. "The route running is pretty much the same, so it's pretty easy."
Ellard has not played in 1998 after making 32 catches for 485 yards in 16 games for the Washington Redskins last season. The Patriots will be his third team in a 15-year career that began with the Los Angeles Rams and included a four-year stint with Redskins.
"A week and a half ago, I said this working ot is kind of getting tiresome so I started to shift gears," Ellard said, "and that's when the call came in" from the Patriots.
On Sunday, the Patriots failed to score a touchdown in a 12-9 loss to the Dolphins. With Glenn out with a hamstring injury, Brown sitting with a badly sprained ankle and Brisby lost with a broken finger, a harried Drew Bledsoe completed just 13 of 33 passes for 240 yards and an interception.
Rookie Tony Simmons, who has one catch for 47 yards, will start opposite Shawn Jefferson against the Colts.
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