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Jake Ballard could emerge as important player for Patriots

Fomer New York Giants' tight end Jake Ballard could be a key player for New England in 2013 if Rob Gronkowski's health continues to be an issue.

Jake Ballard in 2011
Jake Ballard in 2011
Rich Schultz

With the health of Rob Gronkowski uncertain, the Boston Herald has published a piece detailing how former New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard might be a key performer for the New England Patriots in 2013.

Ballard, you recall, tore his ACL during the Giants' victory over New England in Super Bowl XLVI and was lost to the Patriots when the Giants tried to sneak him through waivers last June in order to place him on injured reserve.

At the time, Giants' fans wondered a couple of things:

- How could the Giants take the chance of losing Ballard, who had such a good 2011 season for them? Why did the seemingly tight end rich Patriots grab him?

The first question remains a mystery. The answer to the second question is much clearer. With Gronkowski possbly facing another forearm surgery and missing a good chunk of the season, Ballard is Plan B. Truthfully, it's an example of a good organization seizing an opportunity to grab a good player even though there didn't appear to be a need for him at the time.

Here is really the only question going forward that Giants' fans should be concerned about. Are the Giants better off with Brandon Myers, who caught 79 passes for the Oakland Raiders a year ago, than they would be with Ballard?

Your thoughts, Giants' fans?