The New England Patriots have decided to elevate offensive lineman Bill Murray from the practice squad for their Week 12 game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Murray, 25, will offer additional depth at a position group that is facing some questions heading into its primetime game on Thanksgiving night. Not only has offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (foot) been ruled out, center David Andrews (thigh) and fellow OT Yodny Cajuste (calf) are both questionable to play versus Minnesota.
An undrafted free agent, who joined the Patriots in 2020, Murray started his career as a depth option at defensive tackle before moving to the interior offensive line this summer. He therefore appears poised to serve as an emergency backup in case Andrews will be unable to take the field.
The William & Mary product has already been elevated once this season, but did not see the field in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. In general, Murray has yet to play any non-preseason snaps since his arrival in the NFL.
That said, head coach Bill Belichick spoke highly about Murray recently.
“It’s unfortunate that he wasn’t able to put a full training camp and even regular season together. It’s kind of been in spurts. But lately it’s been good,” Belichick said last week. “His training’s good. I mean he looks great physically. And of course, our practices are cut down now, one padded practice a week and that kind of thing.
“So, the opportunity for those players developmental O- and D-lineman, linebackers, tight ends is just limited. In the line of scrimmage blocking and pass protection, you know all those kinds of things. Receivers and DBs can run routes and cover and that but the development of the bigger guys in the interior part of the line is just limited. So, Bill does all he can.”
With this recent elevation from the practice squad to the game-day team, Murray has only one such mode of short-term activation left this season.