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Patriots Sign Welch from Practice Squad; Release Tarpinian

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The New England Patriots have made a game time decision to sign tackle Thomas Welch to the active roster due to the Patriots' lack of depth on the offensive line. In order to sign Welch, the Patriots had to release inside linebacker Jeff Tarpinian. The Patriots noted tackle Sebastian Vollmer and interior lineman Ryan Wendell as "Out" for tonight's game, which left only six linemen available for the game- and one of them is interior lineman Dan Connolly with a bad foot.

Welch was drafted by the Patriots last season, but was swiped by the Vikings as he went through waivers. The Vikings released him this season and the Patriots were quick to add him back to the team. Hopefully he won't see the field, but at least the front office thought highly enough of Welch to draft him.

Tarpinian showed a lot of promise and was pushing Tracy White for the special teams linebacker role on the team. Unfortunately, an injury derailed his chances. However, I believe the Patriots are still committed to Tarpinian as a long term prospect, should he clear waivers. The team held onto Tarpinian until most teams finalized their practice squads, which is an attempt to keep Tarpinian within the organization. Tarpinian could spend the season on the IR with the Patriots should he clear waivers.