Aug 24, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Lex Hilliard (38) against the San Diego Chargers at the Metrodome. The Chargers defeated the Vikings 12-10. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
According to a team press release, the Patriots have signed running back Lex Hilliard and have released of offensive lineman Matt Tennant. The active roster still remains at the maximum 53 player limit. The team provided the following information about their new player:
Hilliard, 28, is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins (2009-10). The 5-11, 235-pounder signed with Minnesota as an unrestricted free agent on March 21, 2012 but was released by Minnesota on Aug. 31, 2012. He originally entered the NFL as a sixth round draft choice (204th overall) by Miami out of Montana in 2008. Hilliard spent his rookie campaign on the Miami practice squad. He has played in 48 NFL games with four starts and has 39 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns and 26 receptions for 210 yards and two touchdowns.
While he's not at all considered a "game changer" or a starter for that matter, Hilliard does bring some depth to this running back corps. With Jeff Demps being placed on IR, the Patriots can still go five deep at running back this season. That is, if Hilliard is still on the team by Week One--which remains to be seen.
According to Mike Reiss, he was one of 10 players in for a workout on Tuesday. A group that most notably included quarterback Mike Kafka.
As for Tennant, his tenure with the Patriots was very short-lived. The veteran center/guard was claimed on waivers by the team on Saturday after he was waived by the New Orleans Saints. With Tennant released, the Patriots now have eight offensive lineman on their active roster. Don't be surprised if that number and this current group changes before Week one.