One day before the New England Patriots are slated to go up against the Baltimore Ravens in prime time, the team’s personnel department has been quite busy: the Patriots have made a series of transactions on Saturday — including bringing back a former starter and moving two players off the active roster. Let’s go through the moves one by one.
LB Shilique Calhoun: Placed on injured reserve
After being listed on the injury report ever since October 29, the Patriots have now decided to move Shilique Calhoun from their 53-man roster to the injured reserve list. The 28-year-old has been limited in practice because of a knee ailment, and was on the field for just 18 of a possible 104 defensive snaps over the last two games — serving primarily as a situational pass rusher from his outside linebacker position. With Calhoun now out for at least three weeks, New England could turn to Derek Rivers, Tashawn Bower as well as rookies Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings to offer depth along the defensive edge.
OT Jermaine Eluemunor, TE Jordan Thomas: Activated to the 53-man roster
After already returning to practice earlier this week, Jermaine Eluemunor is now officially back on the active roster again. The question is how his role will look like: his replacement, rookie Michael Onwenu, has looked terrific as New England’s starting right tackle. That said, Eluemunor also played some very solid football before hurting his ankle in Week 6. No matter the decision the Patriots’ coaching staff eventually makes, the team’s offensive line is a deeper one with Eluemunor back in the fold.
Jordan Thomas, meanwhile, was activated after the Patriots received a roster exemption for their waiver claim. He is now the second tight end on the team’s 53-man squad alongside Ryan Izzo, but he is still no safe bet to play against Baltimore on Sunday: Thomas has yet to practice with the team, making him a long-shot to be on the game day roster this week.
DT Nick Thurman: Released from the 53-man roster
With Carl Davis looking good in his Patriots debut last week, and with Isaiah Mack now being eligible to suit up after joining the team via the waiver wire, Nick Thurman’s stint on the 53-man roster has come to an end. The 25-year-old, who has appeared in six games so far this season, is a candidate to be brought back to the practice squad however: his experience in the system is still valuable even though he has slipped to the bottom of the depth chart after the recent additions to the defensive tackle group.
LB Terez Hall, LB Cassh Maluia: Elevated from the practice squad to the game-day roster
New England decided to use its standard practice squad elevations to bolster their linebacker and special teams depth this week. Terez Hall, who was also brought up to the game day roster last week, will be part of the team again on Sunday night — offering depth as an off-the-ball linebacker option with number one Ja’Whaun Bentley questionable to play against the Ravens on Sunday due to a groin injury. Cassh Maluia, meanwhile, returns to the game day team after already spending the last seven games there; he was released earlier this week and signed to the practice squad after going unclaimed. Maluia has played exclusively in the kicking game so far.
TE Paul Quessenberry: Signed to the practice squad
After clearing two spots from their practice squad on Friday — New England released tight end Dylan Cantrell and placed offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch on injured reserve — the Patriots decided to fill one of them one day later: they brought back tight end/fullback Paul Quessenberry again. The ex-Marine, who has not played in a football game at any level since graduating from the Naval Academy five-and-a-half years ago, already spent time on the team’s developmental roster on two separate occasions earlier this season.