"I'd say almost any player that’s practice squad eligible that’s on our roster that if he wasn’t on our roster we would want to work with him on the practice squad." - Bill Belichick
What a busy weekend for the Patriots roster. The team tried to move receiver Kenbrell Thompkins to the practice squad, only to see him go to the Oakland Raiders, the only team that put in a waiver claim for his services. Linebacker Ja'Gared Davis took Thompkins spot due to the weak depth at the linebacker position, and it looks like he is a candidate to move back to the practice squad once Dont'a Hightower is back at full health.
Monday saw a different deadline, with both cornerback Brandon Browner and wide receiver Brian Tyms returning from suspension. The Patriots placed defensive end Michael Buchanan on the injured reserve, depleting an already thin position on the roster, and waived defensive tackle Joe Vellano.
Vellano, unlike Thompkins, made his way through waivers and on to the Patriots practice squad. The team had an opening due to Saturday's promotion of Davis.
The movement of Buchanan and Vellano leaves the Patriots with just three pure defensive tackles (Vince Wilfork, Casey Walker, and Chris Jones), two hybrid defensive tackle/defensive ends (Dominique Easley and Zach Moore), and two pure edge rushers (Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich). The return of Sealver Siliga on the distant horizon, as well as the versatility of Easley, lessens the need for depth at tackle, but there's a chance the Patriots need to adjust to compensate at defensive end.
The linebackers Hightower and Jamie Collins both provide possible options as edge rushers until Chandler Jones is back at full health.
In other moves, the Patriots have signed offensive lineman Chris Martin to the practice squad and have released offensive tackle Caylin Hauptmann.