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Report: Patriots expected to sign quarterback Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad

Related: Patriots re-sign veteran linebacker Jamie Collins to practice squad, release Harvey Langi

Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

With starter Mac Jones nursing a high ankle sprain and backup Brian Hoyer in concussion protocol, the New England Patriots have decided to bolster their quarterback depth. They are expected to sign veteran QB Garrett Gilbert to their practice squad, according to a report by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Gilbert, 31, is expected to serve as veteran depth at the position that also includes fourth-round rookie Bailey Zappe. With Jones out and Hoyer suffering a concussion in the first quarter, Zappe was forced into action on Sunday versus the Green Bay Packers.

Heading into the new week and an upcoming game against the Detroit Lions, the statuses of both Jones and Hoyer remain uncertain. Adding a quarterback of Gilbert’s experience therefore makes sense — especially considering that the former sixth-round draft pick already spent time in New England over two separate stints.

Gilbert first joined the Patriots as a rookie in 2014, joining their practice squad after being released by the St. Louis Rams. He arrived late during the season, but was able to get himself a Super Bowl ring out of the short tenure with the team.

After his departure the following summer, Gilbert continued his journeyman career. He spent time in Detroit, Oakland and Carolina and later became one of the best quarterbacks in the short-lived AAF. After the league folded, he returned to the NFL via the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys.

In 2021, Gilbert returned to New England. After being let go by the Cowboys, he re-signed with the organization’s practice squad for a second time.

Gilbert spent most of the season on New England’s developmental roster, but was signed off of it by the Washington Football Team in December. Earlier this year, he then reunited with long-time Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas.

Gilbert was released — coincidentally after the Raiders acquired another ex-Patriots quarterback, Jarrett Stidham — and has remained on the open market ever since. Now, he has found a new team by returning to one he is already quite familiar with.

The Patriots will have to make a follow-up transaction in order to fit Gilbert on their 16-player practice squad.