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Examining the roster ties between Patriots, Titans ahead of wild-card round

Familiar faces are set to revisit Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.

Tennessee Titans v Cleveland Browns Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans will be stopping by Gillette Stadium on wild-card weekend.

And on the field, a staff that includes general manager Jon Robinson, head coach Mike Vrabel, defensive coordinator Dean Pees and inside linebackers coach Tyrone McKenzie will bring familiarity along with them.

Five ex-New England Patriots can currently be found between Tennessee’s active roster, practice squad and injured reserve.

Here’s a glance through both sides of the roster ties as Saturday’s 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff looms.

TENNESSEE

Dion Lewis, running back – Once a futures signing who hadn’t appeared in an NFL game beyond the preseason since 2012, Lewis proceeded to appear in 30 for New England. The former Pittsburgh Panther, Philadelphia Eagle, Cleveland Brown and brief Indianapolis Colt accounted for 1,413 rushing yards, 696 receiving yards and 605 return yards over that span, along with 16 all-purpose touchdowns. Lewis became a Titan on a four-year pact nearing $20 million in March 2018. And since then behind reigning NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry, the 5-foot-8, 195-pound Lewis has accounted for 1,290 yards of offense and three scores.

Jamil Douglas, guard – The Patriots signed Douglas to the practice squad in October 2016. The former Miami Dolphins fourth-round draft choice remained in that capacity to earn a Super Bowl LI ring. Douglas, an Arizona State product, would be waived during NFL roster cutdowns the following September. A stint with the Atlanta Falcons was met by one with Indianapolis. The 27-year-old guard then joined Tennessee’s scout team in October 2018 and re-upped on a futures deal. Douglas has played in 15 games for the Titans this campaign, starting five.

Cody Hollister, wide receiver – One identical twin joined another in New England as part of the 2017 undrafted class. And as Wyoming tight end Jacob Hollister spent his rookie season on the 53-man roster, Arkansas wide receiver Cody Hollister spent his on the scout team. The latter reached a futures contract ahead of 2018 before undergoing back surgery and reverting to the Patriots’ non-football injury list upon clearing waivers. Tennessee then signed the 6-foot-4, 215-pound wideout in May, and a promotion from the practice squad followed in the fall. It’s given way to five games and a pair of catches for 13 yards, as well as 36 snaps on special teams.

Logan Ryan, cornerback – Pick No. 83 overall in the 2013 draft, Ryan arrived just eight slots before his teammate in the Rutgers secondary, Duron Harmon. The cornerback proceeded to never miss a game during his Patriots tenure. And Ryan started 40 games during it while amassing 259 tackles, 2.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and 13 interceptions returned for 167 yards and one TD. The Titans reached a three-year, $30 million agreement with Ryan after the 2017 campaign. The 28-year-old nickel has started all but four games over the regular seasons since then, having a hand in nine turnovers.

Malcolm Butler, cornerback – Placed on injured reserve due to a broken wrist in early November, Butler will miss this year’s return to the organization that signed him following a tryout at rookie minicamp in 2014. The goal-line saver of Super Bowl XLIX and the 2015 Pro Bowler exited for Tennessee on a five-year deal exceeding $60 million as the page turned to 2018. Butler has started 20 of his 25 games for the Titans. The corner has surpassed the 100-tackle mark over that sample size, while also intercepting a handful of passes to the tune of 151 return yards and two touchdowns.

NEW ENGLAND

Jason McCourty, cornerback – McCourty, who has been inactive for four of New England’s past six games due to a groin injury, is set to circle back to the Tennessee organization that selected him in the 2009 draft. The sixth-round Scarlet Knight logged 496 tackles, one sack, six forced fumbles and 13 interceptions with the Titans. He started 90 games and served as a team captain. McCourty would be released by Tennessee ahead of 2017, and went from the Cleveland Browns to a reunion with his identical twin, Devin McCourty, ahead of 2018. The Patriots re-signed the oldest member of the cornerback depth chart to a two-year, $10 million contract last March.

Devin Ross, wide receiver – Part of the New England practice squad since October’s midway, Ross originally entered the league as a Titans undrafted free agent in 2018. The Colorado Buffaloes wideout, who ranks eighth in school history in receptions and 12th in receiving yards, would be waived following a rookie preseason in Tennessee that included six for 80. Ross reconvened with the Titans that autumn on the scout team, and spent the spring and summer of 2019 in Philadelphia after his second Titans exit.