Coming off their mini-bye, the New England Patriots returned to the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium today for what was an eventful practice from a personnel perspective. Wide receiver N’Keal Harry being present is the biggest story to come out of the session — the first-round rookie is now the Patriots’ first player designated to be reactivated off injured reserve — but his return is far from the only news worth talking about.
For starters, four players were not spotted during the portion open to the media:
DE Michael Bennett (?)
WR Josh Gordon (knee)
QB Cody Kessler (?)
TE Matt LaCosse (knee)
While Gordon and LaCosse are dealing with injuries suffered during last Thursday’s game against the New York Giants, the absences of Bennett and Kessler leave plenty of room for speculation: while Kessler is the Patriots’ third quarterback and a possible roster casualty to make room for one of the new players present — more on that in a second — Bennett played only a limited role along New England’s defensive line recently.
Speaking of new players, there were four of them:
TE Eric Tomlinson
TE Benjamin Watson
Unnamed offensive lineman #67
Unnamed wide receiver #17
The Patriots signing Tomlinson to their 53-man roster was announced earlier on Tuesday, with Watson’s return first reported on Monday afternoon. The two players are projected to fill the roster spots previously held by Jakob Johnson — the fullback was placed on injured reserve yesterday — and possibly the aforementioned Cody Kessler. The two unnamed players, meanwhile, appear to be candidates for the practice squad.
After all, three members of the squad were not spotted:
K Younghoe Koo
OT Dan Skipper
TE Jason Vander Laan
It appears as if at least two of the three players were given the axe today in favor of the new players spotted during the short window open to reporters. Any transactions that have taken place today will be announced by the team at around 4:00 pm ET, and on Pats Pulpit shortly afterwards — so make sure to check back.
[UPDATE] The unnamed players in question are wide receiver Devin Ross and interior offensive lineman Tyler Gauthier.