Following a full round of roster cuts, the Patriots now have to opportunity to assimilate an eight-man practice squad to have in addition to their 53-man roster (many of whom were Patriots as of Thursday). The team has announced the following signings to their Practice Squad:
2012-2013 Practice Squad
- OL Thomas Austin
- FB Erik Kettani
- WR Sam Kirkland
- OL Matt Kopa
- TE Alex Silvestro
- LB Jeff Tarpinian
- DB Malcolm Williams
If you notice, those are only seven players. The Patriots may have eight players on their practice squad, but don't have to. One candidate to fill that spot is Jeremy Ebert, the seventh round pick who was released by the Patriots on Friday. But to this point, it's unknown as to whether or not he's been picked up on Waivers. We'll have more for you in the coming hours if Ebert was in fact retained.
Here's what the team released on the newbies Austin and Kirkland:
Austin, 25, was originally signed by Minnesota as a rookie free agent on April 24, 2010 out of Clemson. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder was waived by Minnesota on Sept. 4 and joined the New England practice squad on Sept. 29. He was released by the Patriots prior to the start of the regular season last year and claimed off waivers by Houston, where he played in three games. Austin was released by Houston on Aug. 26, 2012.
Kirkland, 23, went to training camp with Washington after joining the team as a rookie free agent out of Kent State. The 6-foot, 190-pounder was released by the Redskins on Aug. 27, 2012. He finished his college career with 113 receptions for 1,103 yards and 1,856 all-purpose yards.
In the same press release, the Patriots officially announced the acquisition of Greg Salas, the claiming of Matt Tennant, and the release of Bobby Carpenter.