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Patriots sign former Steelers WR Demarcus Ayers to the practice squad, release DT Darius Kilgo

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The team has switched practice squad players.

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After concluding their roster cutdowns on Saturday, the New England Patriots started signing players to their practice squad. Overall, the defending world champions announced that nine of a potential 10 players have been added as of yesterday. Among them was defensive tackle Darius Kilgo, who was released by the team on Saturday.

However, according to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, Kilgo's stint on the practice squad was a rather short one:

Patriots making some early-morning moves on practice squad. They informed DT Darius Kilgo of his release.

As a follow-up, the Patriots have filled Kilgo's spot by signing a wide receiver and kick returner: Demarcus Ayers (per the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson):

Patriots signed former @UHCougarFB Steelers wide receiver DeMarcus Ayers to practice squad

Ayers originally entered the NFL in 2016 as a seventh round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 23-year old appeared in four games during his rookie campaign and finished with nine catches for 80 yards and one touchdown. While the Steelers dif not use the 5'10, 190 lbs receiver on special teams last year, he does bring some ability in this area to the table.

At Houston, Ayers returned 28 punts for 290 yards and a touchdown while also adding 1,613 yards on 71 yards and a score on kickoff returns. During his 2015 senior campaign, he was named to the All-AAC's first team as a kickoff returner. Furthermore, Ayers ran back two punts for 23 yards during the Steelers' preseason.

The player whose spot Ayers took, Darius Kilgo, spent the 2016 season with the Denver Broncos and later the Patriots, who claimed him off waivers in November and later put him on their practice squad. He signed a futures contract after the Super Bowl but was released on Saturday. Kilgo returned to New England through the team's practice squad but only one day later has been released once again.

After the moves, the Patriots still have one open spot on their 10-man practice squad.