While I'm not happy to see him on the Colts, I can't really hold a grudge against him. At the beginning of the season when the offense was really struggling I didn't want to see the Patriots go back to Branch. Although he is a great player, I preferred to see the team stick with the rookies and give them the chance to gain experience. Another reason is that Branch still wants to play in the NFL. Since he hasn't played all season, this opportunity keeps him relevant for next season. If he suits up on Sunday Branch will be wearing #86 as his former number (84) belongs to TE Jack Doyle.
So who was that wearing #84 at the Patriots practice today? That was 5'9" rookie WR Reggie Dunn. Dunn appears to have been brought in to be a T.Y. Hilton clone for this week's practice. Dunn has been spending the season bouncing around from team to team trying to catch a break. This is not Dunn's first trip to Foxboro as he worked out for the Patriots in September. While 84 is not the number Dunn usually wears, his number 13 is taken by WR Mark Harrison. Although it appears Dunn is just here to help with practice, he could serve himself useful on the roster as a return man in the future.