With the deadline 12:00 PM ET for teams to claim players off of waivers, many teams, including the Patriots have been frantically moving to fill out their practice squad.
First, the Patriots have claimed one player off waivers; offensive tackle Steve Maneri from the Houston Texans. Maneri was an undrafted free agent who played tight end during his college days at Temple. At 6'7", he signed with the Texans following the draft hoping to play tackle. There's no word yet whether the Patriots plan to use him at tackle or guard. However, my guess is that he can be used in goal line packages as an extra lineman/tight end. The Patriots often use loaded lines with an offensive lineman reporting eligible as a tight end, Maneri could presumably fit this role.
The Patriots lost rookie center/guard Ted Larsen via waivers to the Buccaneers. While we don't know for sure that the team planned on bringing Larsen back to the practice squad, I do think that Larsen was part of the team's future plans at center, so losing him could hurt down the line. The team also may have lost quarterback Zac Robinson to the Seahawks. According to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com, Robinson is set to sign to the Seahawks' practice squad. If this is true, the team will likely have to search the waiver wire to find a quarterback to sign to the practice squad who can take snaps with the practice squad.
As for the players whom the Patriots have signed to their practice squad, here are the ones that have been confirmed thus far:
- Sergio Brown, Safety
- Rich Ohrnberger, Guard
- Darnell Jenkins, Wide Receiver
- Shawn Crable, Outside Linebacker
The biggest name from that list is probably Shawn Crable. Crable, a third round pick in the 2008 draft, was released in early August after failing his physical and beginning training camp on PUP. As you probably know, he spent his first two seasons on injured reserve. While Crable has the typical speed and length that Bill Belichick looks for in his outside linebackers, he just hadn't been able to stay healthy. When the Patriots released Crable last month, Bill Belichick left open the possibility that he could return. So there you have it, we can now all jump back on the Crable bandwagon.
I'm also glad to see Sergio Brown and Darnell Jenkins back, as they had great preseasons. The Patriots are lucky to get Rich Ohrnberger through waivers, and maybe there's a chance he could still make an impact some time down the line.