The New England Patriots have elevated four from the practice squad in advance of Saturday’s meeting with the Buffalo Bills, including Kristian Wilkerson.
The wide receiver will get the call for the wild card at Highmark Stadium alongside defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale and cornerbacks D’Angelo Ross and De’Vante Bausby.
Wilkerson, 25, made his first career start in Week 17 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It featured four receptions for 42 yards and two touchdowns for the Southeast Missouri State product, who has appeared in four games dating back to his arrival on the practice squad in 2020. Wilkerson originally signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie.
Ekuale, 28, saw 15 defensive snaps in last Sunday’s season finale versus the Miami Dolphins. The 2018 undrafted free agent from Washington State has recorded five tackles and two sacks through seven games with New England. Agreeing to join the practice squad at its formation, Ekuale accrued previous years in Jacksonville and with the Cleveland Browns.
Ross, 25, has been active for three straight games and earned his initial start in Miami Gardens. Between the slot and safety, the 2019 undrafted signing out of New Mexico stayed in to record three tackles as well as 46 defensive snaps. Ross spent his rookie season on injured reserve and the entirety of last season on the practice squad.
Bausby, 28, signed to the practice squad in October and awaited his first elevation. The 2015 undrafted free agent out of Pittsburg State made prior stops with the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Las Vegas Raiders and San Antonio Commanders. His NFL résumé includes 26 games and six starts to go with 60 tackles and eight pass deflections.
Wilkerson and Bausby will serve as standard elevations, according to the NFL transaction wire, while Ekuale and Ross will serve as Covid-19 replacements.
Cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Shaun Wade currently reside on the Covid-19 reserve list for New England as the 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff in Orchard Park nears.