The 33-24 loss at Hard Rock Stadium brought the Covid-19 replacement’s first NFL start.
Ross, 25, had been active for consecutive games before working between the slot and safety for a career-high 46 defensive snaps in Miami Gardens. The New Mexico product recorded three tackles while conceding two receptions for eight yards on three targets, per Pro Football Focus. Arriving as part of the 2019 Patriots undrafted class, Ross spent his rookie year on injured reserve and the duration of last year on the practice squad.
“D’Angelo is a really smart player,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said during his Friday video conference. “On scout team, he plays basically every position in the secondary. He has a really good understanding of what to do and techniques to do it in. He’s gained a lot of confidence of the coaching staff and his teammates based on his work ethic, his consistency and dependability on a daily basis.”
Defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale and safety Sean Davis have also reverted to the practice squad after Week 18, according to the NFL transaction wire. The Patriots utilized protections on both.
Ekuale, 27, logged 15 downs along the defensive line against the Dolphins. The 2018 undrafted free agent from Washington State has recorded five tackles and two sacks through seven games with New England. Joining the practice squad at its formation in September, Ekuale spent previous campaigns with the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Davis, 28, exited on Sunday after his first snap in the second quarter. Announced as questionable due to a shoulder injury, he returned from the locker room to the sideline. A Pittsburgh Steelers second-round selection out of Maryland in 2016, Davis appeared four contests this fall as an elevation for the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts. The 42-game starter signed in October and made his debut in December.
The Buffalo Bills host next Saturday’s wild-card round at Highmark Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET.