The New England Patriots have signed the first two players of their 2016 practice squad.
One player is a familiar face, as edge defender Rufus Johnson will be on the practice squad, according to his agent. Johnson made the active roster last season, but was placed on the reserves with a non-football injury due to an illness.
Johnson was released because of a logjam at the position on the roster. He has a lot of potential and should be in great position to make the roster in 2017 if he stays with the team and develops his special teams ability.
The second player is former Titans 2nd round pick running back Bishop Sankey, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 5’9, 210 pound running back runs a 4.49 40 yard dash, with an impressive 10’6 broad jump, and a quick 4.00 second shuttle and 6.75 second 3 cone drill. Sankey turns 24 in early September and has 762 rushing yards and 272 receiving yards over the past two seasons.
I would not be shocked if Sankey found his way to the active roster at some point because he has talent, but was stuck in a tough situation in Tennessee with an awful offensive line. He was also hampered by a questionable offensive coordinator. The Patriots and Josh McDaniels could tap into his potential and make him a viable option in the backfield.