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Examining the roster ties between Patriots, Ravens ahead of Week 9

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The familiarity remains fresh heading into Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens

The New England Patriots added a recent Baltimore Raven to the roster this past week.

And the other side did the same back to them, times two.

A total of 10 roster connections currently stand between New England and Baltimore heading into Sunday’s 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff at M&T Bank Stadium. Some are fresher than others. All count just the same.

BALTIMORE

Ufomba Kamalu, defensive end – Kamalu departed from New England’s practice squad for Baltimore’s active roster this past Thursday. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound defensive lineman did so after appearing in two games for the Patriots towards the tail end of the 2018 regular season, and having made previous stops with the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Miami back in 2016.

L.J. Fort, linebacker – Fort signed with New England during the second week of training camp back in 2015. His stay would span two weeks and one preseason appearance. The 29-year-old linebacker out of Northern Iowa proceeded to spend four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, before splitting the early stages of 2019 between the Philadelphia Eagles and now the Ravens. Fort signed with Baltimore after four games with Philadelphia, and has started two of his three games since then.

Cyrus Jones, cornerback – Jones signed to the Ravens’ practice squad last September. He’d be signed off the scout team to the Patriots’ 53-man roster midway through that month, then claimed back by early October. Jones originally entered as the top pick in the 2016 Patriots draft class. With Baltimore, the Alabama product has appeared in 18 games, starting one in the secondary while returning 28 punts for 365 yards and one touchdown. “At the point in time when we re-signed him back from the Ravens,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said via conference call this week, “he certainly helped us. And then, unfortunately, we had to make a roster decision there and the Ravens got him back.”

Jordan Richards, safety – The Patriots released Richards last Tuesday as the corresponding move to signing a fellow special-teamer released by the Ravens. Baltimore agreed to terms with Richards less than 48 hours later. The Stanford Cardinal first arrived in Foxborough in the second round of the 2015 draft. New England later traded Richards to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a conditional 2020 seventh-rounder, and the safety checked in with the Oakland Raiders over the offseason before reconvening.

NEW ENGLAND

Ben Watson, tight end – Watson logged 2016 and 2017 with the Ravens, and rebounded from a torn Achilles to catch 61 passes for 522 yards and four touchdowns during the latter season while appearing in every game. The No. 32 overall pick in the 2004 draft returned to the New Orleans Saints this past season. Watson then elected to end his retirement to return to New England in May. A release and a re-signing followed for Watson, who’s caught four passes for 44 yards through two starts this fall.

Jermaine Eluemunor, guard – Leading up to August’s roster deadline, New England acquired Eluemunor and a 2020 sixth-round draft choice from Baltimore in exchange for a future fourth-round selection. Eluemunor, who first broke in as a fifth-rounder out of Texas A&M in 2017, has gone on to play in six games for the Patriots this season as a reserve. The interior lineman was named to the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team during his stay in Baltimore.

Lawrence Guy, defensive tackle – New England signed Guy to a four-year deal worth up to $19 million as unrestricted free agency got underway in the spring of 2017. The well-traveled defensive tackle had appeared in 43 games to tally 18 starts, 5.5 sacks and 91 tackles with Baltimore over the previous three seasons. Guy has served as a starter for all but two games with New England dating back to his arrival. He intercepted his first career pass last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

John Simon, defensive end – Picked No. 129 overall by Baltimore in 2013, the Ohio State product recorded four tackles for the organization that drafted him before being signed off the practice squad as an NFL sophomore by the Houston Texans. Simon subsequently made his way to the Indianapolis Colts for the 2017 season before being released on Labor Day weekend. He’s notched five sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in a Patriots uniform.

Justin Bethel, cornerback – Ravens head coach John Harbaugh attributed last Monday’s release of Bethel, a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro on special teams, to “a funky rule that the NFL has with these compensatory picks.” Baltimore regained a projected fourth-round compensatory selection by parting ways with Bethel, who visited and signed with New England a day after. The 29-year-old gunner made his Patriots debut against the Browns.

Terrence Brooks, safety – The Florida State Seminole became a Raven in the third round of the 2014 draft. Brooks would become a waiver transaction after two seasons in Baltimore, however, and was claimed by the Philadelphia Eagles. Two years with the New York Jets followed before the team’s leading participant in the kicking game reached a two-year deal with New England. Brooks has eight tackles and an interception thus far into 2019.