The Patriots have moved quickly after placing rookie defenstive lineman Dominique Easley on the injured reserve. The team has announced the signing of tight end Steve Maneri to the active roster, as well as quarterback Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad. Defensive lineman Casey Walker was signed to the Ravens active roster earlier this week.
Maneri was a tight end in college, back in 2009, but was converted to offensive tackle in 2010 by the Texans. The Patriots kept him at tackle as he spent 2010 on New England's practice squad. The Chiefs converted him back to tight end in 2011, a position he's played in his recent stints with the Bears and Buccaneers.
It's clear the Patriots are trying to bulk up on their pass blocking, and they officially announced him as a tight end. He'll be a more reliable blocker than Michael Hoomanawanui, but his ability as a receiver remains to be seen. Still, he'll add value in goal line packages and as the Patriots head to more power rushing attacks for the winter months.
Gilbert replaces Walker on the practice squad as the Patriots look to add more passing ability for this off-season, as well as for the final stretch. Gilbert was a record setting quarterback in college with a quick release.
The Patriots opted to sign Maneri over replacing Easley with a defensive lineman due to the return of Chandler Jones and Sealver Siliga.