In three days the New England Patriots will open their 2018 regular season against the Houston Texans. The Patriots’ week one opponent is a familiar one: led by head coach and former New England offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, Houston bears close resemblance to the team when it comes to scheme. This is not the only reason for familiarity, though, as the two clubs have also crossed paths multiple times in the past.
One of the men to appear in the last three meetings between the Texans and Patriots is tight end Stephen Anderson. Now, it looks like the 25-year old will experience the matchup between the two clubs from the other side. According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, New England has signed Anderson to its practice squad:
TE Stephen Anderson, who worked out for the Patriots earlier in the week, has a locker set up in the Patriots locker room. Formerly of the Texans.
TE Stephen Anderson has been assigned No. 80.
TE Stephen Anderson is joining the practice squad of the Patriots. One spot will need to be created to account for his arrival.
Appearing in a combined 30 games over the course of his career, Anderson registered 36 catches for 435 yards and a pair of touchdowns since joining the Texans as an undrafted rookie in 2016 and also regularly appeared on special teams. With both Ryan Izzo and Will Tye having been placed on season-ending injured reserve as part of final roster cutdowns, New England will now use the Cal product as a fourth depth tight end.
With Anderson on board, the Patriots will have to make a corresponding roster move as the team currently has all 10 of its practice squad spots filled:
QB Danny Etling
DT Vincent Valentine
RB Ralph Webb
WR Riley McCarron
CB Jomal Wiltz
OL Cole Croston
OL James Ferentz
DE Trent Harris
WR Jace Billingsly
OT Eric Smith
[UPDATE] Anderson will fill McCarron’s spot on the practice squad, with the wideout getting promoted to the active roster to fill the vacant spot created by Duke Dawson getting placed on injured reserve.