But there are several former Patriots who will be making a return trip to Gillette Stadium on Thursday, including a past draft pick as well as a past trade acquisition.
Here’s a glance through the familiar names now with Washington as the 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff nears. Familiar names aside from defensive lineman Daniel Wise, the younger brother of New England veteran Deatrich Wise Jr.
Taylor Heinicke, quarterback — The record-setting passer out of Old Dominion spent two weeks on New England’s practice squad in the fall of 2017 before his release. Heinicke, who has also been a member of the Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers and XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks, landed with Washington last December. An elevation from the practice squad followed for the 28-year-old. Heinicke started January’s NFC wild card versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, throwing for 306 yards with one touchdown and one interception in what became a 31-23 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champions. He later signed a two-year, $8.75 million contract extension as a restricted free agent.
Lamar Miller, running back — The Patriots signed Miller to a one-year deal last August. The former Pro Bowler, coming off a torn ACL sustained the previous preseason while with Houston, began his stay in Foxborough on physically unable to perform. Miller would then be released at the NFL roster deadline one week after making his practice debut. The 30-year-old Miami Hurricanes product and two-time 1,000-yard rusher proceed to join the Chicago Bears’ practice squad. Miller then made his way to Washington’s active roster in December. He re-signed after free agency opened in March.
DeAndre Carter, wide receiver — Carter originally signed to New England’s squad as an undrafted rookie out of Sacramento State in December 2015. The wideout and returner would be released and re-signed before reaching a futures contract, which led to a touchdown catch the following preseason. He made subsequent stops with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles before appearing in 36 games in the regular season as a Texan and Bear. The 28-year-old Carter signed with Washington in May. His NFL career includes 386 receiving yards to go with 589 yards on punt returns and 983 yards on kick returns.
Najee Toran, guard — Washington placed the 25-year-old Toran on the reserve/did not report list at the start of training camp in July. Toran, who had been waived by New England two months prior, was among eight Patriots to opt out of the 2020 season due to Covid-19 concerns. The interior lineman out of UCLA spent the entirety of the 2019 season on New England’s practice squad after originally entering the league as a rookie free agent with San Francisco in 2018.
John Bostic, linebacker — Bostic, the No. 50 overall pick in the 2013 draft, was acquired by New England from Chicago in September 2015. The linebacker by way of Florida appeared in 11 games from there, seeing 40 snaps on defense and 194 snaps on special teams for the Patriots. Bostic was later traded to the Detroit Lions in exchange for a conditional pick in 2016. And after tours with the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers, he arrived in Washington in the spring of 2019. The 30-year-old Bostic has appeared in every game and started 31 since then, eclipsing 100 tackles through both campaigns while also notching four sacks.
Darryl Roberts, cornerback — The Patriots filled out Roberts’ draft card at No. 247 overall back in 2015. The seventh-round defensive back out of Marshall spent his rookie season on injured reserve and was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets the following Labor Day weekend. Roberts went on to accrue four seasons in East Rutherford before signing with Detroit in 2020. At age 30, he now stands 67 games, 31 starts, 211 tackles and four interceptions into his NFL tenure. Roberts agreed to terms with Washington in March.