New England filled his roster spot by re-signing veteran Donte' Stallworth, who was in his second stint with the club this summer before bring cut. He was almost in the verge of returning last week to replace Edelman (according to Mike Giardi of CSNNE) after he suffered a concussion against the Jets on Thanksgiving. However, Edelman recovered in time to face the Dolphins.
This time, though, Edelman won't be back. Hence, the need for Stallworth. Edelman's absence not only hurts the depth at receiver, but also deprives New England of one of the best punt returners in the NFL. The only other Patriot to return a punt this season is starting wideout Wes Welker. Stallworth took some reps as a kickoff returner during camp, but he likely won't be an option as a punt returner. Look for one of New England's young ball carriers — perhaps Shane Vereen — to get some looks there.
On offense, though, Stallworth at the very least provides experience and a familiarity with the offense. It shouldn't take him long to contribute.