The New England Patriots hosted seven free agents for workouts on Tuesday, including running backs Ryquell Armstead, Dontrell Hilliard, Ito Smith and Artavis Pierce, according to the NFL personnel wire.
The updating of the emergency list comes after team captain James White’s reported hip subluxation in Week 3.
Armstead, 24, was a fifth-round draft choice by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019. The Temple product appeared in 16 games as a rookie, handling 35 rushes for 108 yards and 14 receptions for 144 yards with two touchdowns. Armstead missed last season due to Covid-19 complications and spent the spring with the New York Giants after being claimed off waivers.
Hilliard, 26, went undrafted out of Tulane in 2018 and has since been a member of the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans. Through 32 career games, he’s totaled 22 carries for 97 yards and 22 catches for 199 yards with two touchdowns. Hilliard has also averaged 7.1 yards per punt return and 23.1 yards per kickoff return during his NFL tenure.
Smith, 26, entered the league with the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round of the 2018 draft. The former first-team All-Conference USA selection from Southern Miss played in 35 games as a Falcon, tallying 1,003 yards and six touchdowns from scrimmage through 230 touches. Waived in April, Smith made stops in training camp with the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings.
Pierce, 25, signed with the Chicago Bears as a undrafted free agent in 2020. The Oregon State product saw action in five games during his rookie season, recording six carries for 34 yards with one touchdown. Pierce began September on Chicago’s practice squad.
In addition to the running backs, New England also worked out wide receiver Anthony Johnson along with defensive backs D.J. Daniel and Stephen Denmark on Tuesday.
The active roster currently stands at 53 while an opening remains on the practice squad.