The New England Patriots announced their practice squad on Sunday following the final roster cuts a day earlier.
First, New England had to survive the waiver claim period, something that seldom ends up with top cuts sticking around. The Patriots were only deprived of four of its roster cuts – Braxton Berrios to the New York Jets, Andrew Beck to the Denver Broncos, and Ken Webster and Trent Harris to the Miami Dolphins.
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In all, New England ended up with nine players on the practice squad, highlighted by tight end Stephen Anderson and linebacker Calvin Munson.
Here’s who makes up that list:
A tight-end with regular-season experience having played for the Houston Texans, Anderson is still transitioning from receiver to tight end. He made strides this summer but was still unable to crack the 53-man roster. His ongoing development is key given the Patriots’ overall lack of depth at the tight end position.
The linebacker made a late push for a roster spot but was ultimately edged out given depth at the position. He served as a signal-caller for the defense in the preseason finale and that leadership meshed with his defensive talent presented a strong case for the practice squad.
This was a no-brainer. An international pool player, keeping Johnson allows the Patriots to have an extra man on the practice squad with the caveat that Johnson cannot be activated during the year. He showed his worth catching passes and even playing outside linebacker almost on the fly. Imagine what Bill Belichick can do with an extended opportunity to work with him?
This one came out of left field a bit. An undrafted rookie out of Mizzou, Hall was still buried down the depth chart by the end of the preseason. The Patriots opted to keep Hall instead of Scooby Wright with a likely rationale of developing another Brandon King style player.
At once thought to potentially be a starting left tackle or even a depth tackle, he ultimately didn’t make the roster after three separate trades by the Patriots to acquire depth lineman. Skipper has stuck around and now has a chance to prove his worth as a practice squad player.
The fact that he wasn’t claimed is a miracle. Kamalu is a beast, 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, and he can play defensive tackle, defensive end, or even outside linebacker. That versatility clearly won him the approval of the coaching staff and a spot on the practice squad.
Tyree St. Louis
There was a possibility early on that St. Louis could impress enough to make a spot on the active roster. Although it didn’t happen, the coaching staff saw something in him that warranted a spot on the practice squad.
Another interesting addition given his limited playing time in preseason. But again, he’s another young player who’s more moldable to a certain system.
A defensive end out of Mississippi State, he was cut by the Indianapolis Colts and signed by the Patriots. He had a good showing in the Senior Bowl with four tackles and was drafted in the sixth round. He’s a good player to work with for the Patriots given his strong community service background.