Branch competing for playing time with Patriots


FOXBOROUGH (AP) - Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch knows his best days are over.

Now, he's waiting to find out where he fits into the team's deep wide receiver corps.

He's competing for playing time with newcomers Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Donte' Stallworth and holdovers Wes Welker and Julian Edelman. Branch also might be fighting for a roster spot with New England (No. 2 in the AP Pro32).

Branch said Thursday that everyone knows players lose something as they age. But he said he will never lose his mental skills that allow him to evade defenders and run precise routes.

Branch sat out last Thursday night's preseason opener against New Orleans but has practiced steadily since then and could play Monday night against Philadelphia.