While the Patriots have reduced their roster to 53, general manager and head coach Bill Belichick is still issuing transactions. Over the past few days, the Patriots have added three new players, all with a common thread.
The Patriots have added strong safety Don Jones to the active roster (and recently made a corresponding move by releasing Kanorris Davis off the practice squad). Jones is a special teams ace who spent last season with the Dolphins.
The team also added elite return man Marcus Thigpen to the practice squad. Thigpen spent the last two seasons with the Dolphins, racking up the third most punt and kick return yardage in the league, behind just Devin Hester and Jacoby Jones.
A second addition to the practice squad is fullback/tight end Allen Reisner. While Reisner didn't spend the 2013 season with the Vikings, he spent this pre-season, as well as the 2011 and 2012 years in Minnesota.
The Patriots just happen to play the Dolphins in week 1 and the Vikings in week 2.