The Patriots have made a minor roster move today, announcing that wide receiver / tight end Dorin Dickerson has been placed on practice squad injured reserve:
Dickerson, 23, was signed to the New England practice squad on Dec. 7, 2011. He is a second-year player who was originally drafted by the Houston Texans in the seventh round (227th overall) out of Pittsburgh in 2010. As a rookie, he played in seven games, mainly on special teams. Dickerson, 6-2, 227 pounds, was released by Houston on Sept. 3, 2011 and was then signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice squad on Sept. 12 before being released on Sept. 15. During his college career, he played at wide receiver, linebacker and tight end.
This is a pretty minor move, but it does leave the Patriots pretty thin at tight end for practice. With Rob Gronkowski nursing an ankle injury suffered in the AFC Championship game, this leaves Aaron Hernandez as the only active tight end on the roster at this moment. Putting Dickerson on the reserve list opens up a spot on the practice squad, perhaps it could lead to the team re-signing Garrett Mills, who plays a similar position to Dickerson and was released from the practice squad last month.
As for Dickerson, he's a big athletic receiver / tight end prospect who still has a significant amount of upside. Assuming his injury situation isn't too serious, I would expect him to be signed to a future contract at the conclusion of the season with a chance to compete for a roster spot in 2012.