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Patriots elevate Germany’s Jakob Johnson to active roster

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With James Develin sidelined, Jakob Johnson gets the call at fullback.

NFL: AUG 22 Preseason - Panthers at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With fullback James Develin ruled out for Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET kickoff due to a neck injury, the New England Patriots are promoting Jakob Johnson.

A native of Stuttgart, Germany, Johnson joined the Patriots as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program in April.

The 24-year-old Tennessee product proceeded to play both fullback and linebacker in the preseason for New England, and was not designated by the team as the exempt 11th man on a practice squad of 10 by Labor Day weekend.

Johnson finds himself eligible for a roster of 53 in result.

NFL Deutschland announced Johnson’s elevation ahead of New England’s meeting with the New York Jets. Friday’s release of wide receiver Antonio Brown opened the spot for Johnson, who went undrafted in 2018 and spent last season with the Stuttgart Scorpions.

Sunday will mark the Patriots’ first game without Develin since his 2015 ended on injured reserve.

The 31-year-old fullback has played in 96 games, including playoffs, for New England since 2013.