When the New England Patriots visit the Los Angeles Chargers, some will revisit.
Four past Patriots and two past Chargers reside between the active rosters, practice squads and reserve lists as Sunday nears.
Here’s a look through those ties heading into the 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff at SoFi Stadium.
Stephen Anderson, tight end – The former California Golden Bears walk-on wide receiver signed to the New England practice squad at its formation in 2018. And there Anderson, who had caught 36 passes for 435 yards and two touchdowns as an undrafted arrival with the Houston Texans, remained until the playoff run. To the 53 he’d go. “I got a lot to prove,” Anderson said during Super Bowl LIII week in Atlanta. “Patience is kind of a big word that kind of came up for me last year, and I just got to stay patient and it’ll happen.” Anderson began the following campaign on the New England scout team before landing with Los Angeles. The 27-year-old has appeared in 11 contests this regular season. Those contests have included 48 snaps on offense and a Chargers-high 214 snaps on special teams.
Tyree St. Louis, offensive tackle – St. Louis entered the league as part of the 2019 Patriots undrafted class. The product of IMG Academy and the Miami Hurricanes began his rookie year with a week on the practice squad before a brief tour with the Indianapolis Colts. And by the midway point in October, St. Louis found himself in the fold of the Chargers. The 23-year-old bookend remained on the practice squad for Los Angeles and was retained on a futures deal for 2020. St. Louis then outlasted the 53-man roster deadline on Labor Day weekend and has checked into his first four career games between tackle and guard.
Cole Toner, guard – Toner made the trip from Harvard to Gillette Stadium for Willie McGinest’s induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame in the summer of 2015. And after stops with the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, the interior offensive lineman would return there in the fall of 2017. New England signed Toner to the practice squad and released him from the injured list the following week. Toner, now 26, has been with the Chargers since then through a series of transactions. He was added to the active roster from the practice squad at the end of October and has appeared in five contests this year, starting two.
Ryan Groy, guard – Groy went undrafted out of Wisconsin and to the Chicago Bears in 2014. But by training camp in 2015, he had gone to Foxborough in exchange for rookie sixth-round linebacker Matthew Wells. Groy would be waived with the injury designation as that regular season opened and subsequently reached a settlement with the Patriots. A Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Buffalo Bill and New Orleans Saint he has been in the years since. And Groy has spent the past year as a Charger. His 2020 has brought stints on the practice squad, active roster, injured reserve and Covid-19 reserve. The 30-year-old center and guard has made three starts and four appearances for Los Angeles in the process.
Lawrence Guy, defensive tackle – Guy, a captain, holds a spot on the reigning Patriots All-Decade team next to Vince Wilfork. But the 30-year-old defensive tackle out of Arizona State has held several since setting foot in the NFL as the final pick in the 2011 Green Bay Packers draft. The Chargers of San Diego being one. Guy was claimed by the Chargers in October 2013 and waived in September 2014. He checked into 13 games for the organization across those seasons, registering 16 tackles and a trio of batted passes. The Baltimore Ravens were awarded Guy on the wire as his stay in the AFC West came to a close.
Adrian Phillips, safety – Phillips signed with the Chargers as an undrafted rookie in 2014. And the linebacker-minded safety out of Texas remained for six seasons. Those seasons featured 64 games and 24 starts for Phillips. They also featured 251 tackles, a handful of interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles. Phillips earned Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors on special teams during his penultimate campaign with Los Angeles. The 28-year-old agreed to terms with New England in the early stages of free agency in March. He’s started all 11 games since then to gather two interceptions and a team-high 72 combined tackles. Phillips has been in for the third-most work on the defense as well as 36 percent of the work in the kicking game.