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Patriots open 21-day window for rookies Cameron McGrone, Joshuah Bledsoe to return from non-football injury list

Patriots draft picks Cameron McGrone and Joshuah Bledsoe practiced on Tuesday.

Michigan v Indiana Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the New England Patriots returned to practice with linebacker Cameron McGrone and safety Joshuah Bledsoe in attendance for the first time since the start of the regular season.

The 21-day window for both rookies to be activated from the non-football injury list to the 53-man roster has been opened.

McGrone, 21, arrived in the fifth round at No. 177 overall out of Michigan after suffering a torn ACL last November as a junior. Starting 15 of his 19 games for the Wolverines, McGrone finished his stay in Ann Arbor with 91 tackles, including 11 for loss, four sacks and one forced fumble. The former five-star recruit was twice an All-Big Ten honorable mention.

Bledsoe, 22, was selected in sixth round at No. 188 overall out of Missouri. Appearing in 46 games for the Tigers, Bledsoe finished his SEC career with 131 tackles, one sack, one interception, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a touchdown. He sustained a broken wrist at the Reese’s Senior Bowl that led to pre-draft surgery.

Additionally on Tuesday, the Patriots signed punter Corliss Waitman to the practice squad, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.

Waitman, 26, had been among three punters in for workouts with New England on Nov. 11. Signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2020, Waitman was most recently in training camp with the Las Vegas Raiders. Over 38 games at South Alabama, he had 58 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. First-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors were secured as a redshirt junior after Waitman set the program record with 45.24 yards per punt.

The Patriots stood with three openings on the practice squad.