The New England Patriots are currently enjoying the mini bye they have received by playing last Thursday. But while the team will not return to the field for another day, the front office is still busy as a recent series of practice squad transactions shows. As first reported by ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss and since confirmed by the team, the Patriots have signed defensive back Alex Carter.
After a three-year career at Stanford, where he played alongside Patriots safety Jordan Richards, Carter entered the NFL as a third round draft pick by the Detroit Lions in 2015. However, he injured his ankle on the first day of training camp and missed his entire rookie season because of the ailment. The 6'0, 200 lbs defender, who played cornerback when he entered the league, returned in 2016 but was unable to make the team.
Carter was signed to the Lions' practice squad and promoted to the active roster in late December. He appeared in one game, playing four special teams snaps. During the 2017 offseason, the Virginia native converted to safety. Despite the position change, however, he was again unable to make Detroit's 53-man roster. In September, the 22-year old was released yet again.
Since his release, Carter has remained unsigned despite being brought in for workouts by the Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals. Now, the 80th overall pick of the 2015 draft has received another chance: Following a workout with the Patriots, the team has signed him to its practice squad.
The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride also reports that the Patriots have signed for Harvard OL Cole Toner to the practice squad. Toner was a 5th round selection by the Arizona Cardinals in 2016 and spent his rookie season with the team. He was waived during final cuts this season and spent the month of September with the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad. Toner plays all five offensive line positions.
To make room for Carter and Toner, New England has waived QB Taylor Heinicke and OG Jason King. As a result, its practice squad now looks as follows:
DT Angelo Blackson
DB Alex Carter
OC James Ferentz
WR Cody Hollister
DB David Jones
CB Ryan Lewis
WR Riley McCarron
OL Cole Toner
DB Damarius Travis
DB Jomal Wiltz