The New England Patriots are not at full strength heading into their Week 9 game against the New York Jets, after listing a season-high 19 players on their final injury report and already ruling six of them out. They therefore decided to tweak the back-end of the active roster ahead of the contest: the Patriots elevated two players from the practice squad for the game in New York and added a third by signing him to the 53-man team. Furthermore, they were awarded a player off the waiver wire.
Let’s take a closer look at the moves.
LB Tashawn Bower: Signed to 53-man roster
After already elevating him to their game day squad in both Week 7 and Week 8, the Patriots decided to promote Bower to their 53-man roster for good. The now-former practice squad member played a combined 46 snaps on defense and five more on special teams over the last two games, and will now serve as a rotational depth option along New England’s defensive edge. The 25-year-old, who is in his second year with the organization after originally arriving in the NFL in 2017, had some solid moments as a run defender — a role he could again fill versus the Jets.
TE Jordan Thomas: Claimed off waivers
With Dalton Keene set to miss his second straight game, and with fellow third-round rookie Devin Asiasi on injured reserve, New England decided to bolster its tight end depth via the waiver wire: the team was awarded Jordan Thomas after the Arizona Cardinals let him go. A sixth-round draft pick by the Houston Texans in 2018, Thomas has appeared in 28 games over his career so far and 23 catches for 233 yards and five touchdowns by his name. He arrived in Arizona earlier this season, but after just four games and one 3-yard reception was let go again. The 24-year-old will now offer depth behind TE1 Ryan Izzo.
WR Kristian Wilkerson: Elevated to game day roster
Wilkerson first arrived in New England after roster cutdown weekend, when he was let go by the Tennessee Titans — a team he had joined just a few months earlier as a rookie free agent. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound wideout broke various school records during his college career at Southeast Missouri State, including receiving yards (3,540) and receiving touchdowns (33). Wilkerson will make his NFL debut tonight, offering depth behind top-three wide receivers Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski.
LB Terez Hall: Elevated to game day roster
Terez Hall has had some moments as a run defender during training camp, showing some solid physicality and a good nose for the ball. However, he had to start his second NFL season on the Patriots’ practice squad after being released on roster cutdown day. Now, however, he will get another chance to prove himself: the former undrafted free agent, who spent his entire rookie season on New England’s practice squad, will join the game day team as a depth option alongside off-the-ball linebackers Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings. Like Kristian Wilkerson he will automatically revert back to the developmental roster on Tuesday.