With Julian Edelman slapped with a doubtful designation again and Danny Amendola questionable after a Week 15 injury, the Patriots needed a receiver with better knowledge of their system than Hankerson currently possesses, Volin points out (on Twitter).
The 22-year-old wideout played in three games for the Pats in November, the latest of which featuring an ill-timed fumble that contributed to his release and eventual return to the practice squad.
10:15am: NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Hankerson is expected to rejoin the Patriots next week, assuming the wideout passes through waivers. Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com believes the Patriots may have just wanted a wideout who was a bit more familiar with the offensive system for this weekend’s contest against the Jets (Twitter link).
9:15am: Leonard Hankerson‘s stay in New England proved to be a short one, as Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports that the Patriots will waive the wideout this afternoon. The five-year veteran joined the Patriots last week after being cut from the Falcons injured reserve list. The 26-year-old was active for the team’s victory over the Titans, but he didn’t earn a single target in the contest.
In eight games for the Falcons this season, Hankerson compiled 26 catches for 327 yards and three touchdowns. The receiver’s best season came in 2012 with Washington, when he caught 38 passes for 543 yards and three touchdowns.
Hankerson will now be subject to waivers, just like he was last week. Since the Patriots managed to acquire the player despite being towards the end of the waiver order, Florio doesn’t expect the receiver to find another job this season.