Even though Labor Day is a public holiday, the New England Patriots stuck to their “No Days Off”-mentality and continued working. After all, the season opener is only a few days away and both the 53-man roster and the practice squad need to finalized (at least for that game against the Houston Texans). Naturally, it was no surprising to see a flurry of moves come out of Foxboro yesterday.
For one, the Patriots reportedly added two new players to their practice squad:
WR Jace Billingsley
OT Eric Smith
Both of the moves have yet to be made official, so we will have to wait and see if the two players indeed get added to New England’s scout team. If they do, the 10-man limit would be reached which in turn means that currently unsigned linebacker Harvey Langi might not join the practice squad at the moment – on Sunday, there have been reports that the Patriots will add him but so far this has not happened.
Billingsley and Smith, meanwhile, would add more depth to the Patriots’ offense. Former undrafted free agents, the two have spent time on the active rosters of their former teams’ – the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins, respectively. However, neither the 25-year old Billingsley nor the 23-year old Smith have had much of an impact so far during their professional careers.
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots also held a pair of tryouts yesterday. One of them was Eric Smith, who apparently has since been offered a spot on the practice squad. The other player who came to Foxboro on Monday was Stephen Anderson. After going undrafted in 2016, the 25-year old had two relatively productive seasons with the Houston Texans as a tight end and special teamer.
Appearing in a combined 30 games over the course of his career, Anderson registered 36 catches for 435 yards and a pair of touchdowns so far. He also added four tackles on special teams. New England could look to add another developmental depth tight end after both Ryan Izzo and Will Tye have been placed on season-ending injured reserve as part of final roster cutdowns.