New England Patriots tight end Jake Ballard passed his physical on Tuesday and has been removed from the physically unable to perform list, according to Field Yates of ESPN Boston.
Ballard tore his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots when he was playing for the Giants. Last summer, the Giants waived Ballard to make room on the roster for a free agent signing, planning to stash Ballard on injured reserve after he cleared waivers. But the Patriots claimed Ballard and put him on injured reserve for the 2012 season.
The move was curious at the time, because the team had Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, two of the top tight ends in the NFL. But Hernandez was charged with murder in late June and consequently released, while Gronkowski is recovering from back surgery. So Ballard, who had over 600 yards receiving in 2011, provides needed depth at the position and will compete for the starting job while Gronkowski recovers.
Meanwhile, Gronkowski and wide receiver Julian Edelman remain on the PUP list entering training camp.