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Patriots add a defensive tackle to the practice squad; bring in a rookie defensive back for a free agency workout

New England keeps working on potential emergency options.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots had a busy Tuesday: Not only did the team return to the first practice after its bye week, it also placed linebacker Dont'a Hightower on injured reserve and signed defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois to fill his spot. Furthermore, the team re-signed another defensive lineman to its practice squad while brining in a rookie for a free agency workout.

The defensive lineman added to the practice squad is Mike Purcell, who already was with the Patriots' scout team for one day in late October. The 6'3, 330 lbs Purcell originally entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013. The Utah product was signed by the San Francisco 49ers with whom he spent the next four seasons appearing in a total of 25 games on both defense and special teams.

Earlier this year, Purcell was released by the 49ers and, as noted above, found his way to New England's practice squad – via the Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. He originally filled the spot opened by linebacker Trevor Reilly's promotion to the active roster but was released on the very next day when the team added wide receiver Jake Kumerow. Now, the 26-year old is back.

According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, the Patriots brought defensive back Lorenzo Jerome in for a workout yesterday:

Patriots had rookie free-agent DB Lorenzo Jerome, who played at St. Francis (Pa) and was most recently with 49ers, in for a workout.

After spending his college career at Division I's St. Francis, Jerome went undrafted in 2017. The 5'10, 205 lbs safety went undrafted and was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent shortly afterwards. Jerome was able to make the team's 53-man roster and appeared in four games as a backup defensive back – registering three tackles and a quarterback hit – and special teamer.

However, the 49ers opted to release the 22-year old a month ago. Jerome has been on the open market since. Whether the Patriots will change this anytime soon remains to be seen. However, the odds might be stacked against him as New England currently has 11 defensive backs on its active roster and four more on its practice squad.