Patriots Have Another Player Snatched Off Their Practice Squad

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The New England Patriots’ practice squad has been a popular resource for teams with player absences due to COVID-19 infections and injuries of late.

On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers plucked punter Corliss Waitman off the Patriots’ PS after their normal punter Pressley Harvin III was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Waitman had been taking some of the practice workload off Jake Bailey by handling those reps, which has helped to keep Bailey healthy this season. It remains to be seen if the Patriots will sign another punter to replace Waitman.

The 26-year-old Waitman, who hails from South Alabama has yet to punt in a regular season NFL game, so it appears he may get that chance for the Steelers against the Chiefs.

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Waitman’s best year in college was his junior season when he averaged 45.2 yards per punt. His numbers came down a bit in his senior season as he went undrafted before the Steelers originally signed him/

He spent all of the 2020 season on the Steelers’ practice squad, so there was a ton of familiarity between him and the team. Based on the Steelers’ current situation at punting, it seems a good bet Waitman will make his regular-season NFL debut on Sunday.

Patriots Also Lost Garrett Gilbert to the Washington Football Team

Prior to the Week 14 slate of games, the Washington Football Team poached veteran quarterback Garrett Gilbert from the Patriots’ practice squad. WFT had been ravaged by COVID and injuries.

They lost veteran journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a hip injury back in September. Taylor Heinicke has filled in adequately for Fitzpatrick with 2,931 passing yards, 19 TDs and 12 Ints in 12 starts this season. WFT is 6-6 in those games.

Unfortunately, Heinicke nor Kyle Allen, WFT’s other quarterback were unable to test out of COVID protocols. That means Gilbert is going to get his second start for the team on Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

The upcoming contest against the rival Cowboys is a must-win situation for Washington. They fell to 6-8 in last week’s 27-17 loss on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles. Gilbert played well considering he had almost no time to learn Washington’s system.

Gilbert completed 20 of 31 passes for 194 yards, 0 TDs, but impressively, no interceptions. The fact that he was able to take adequate care of the ball was probably a major plus for WFT’s head coach Ron Rivera.

The hope is likely that he will improve upon that performance against the Cowboys.

The Patriots’ Huge Rematch With the Bills

New England has their own crucial game ahead with a rematch against the Buffalo Bills on tap. If the Patriots win, they will improve to 10-5 and the Bills will drop to 8-7. In addition to holding a 2-game lead in the AFC East standings, the Patriots will have swept the season series.

It would be an absolute death blow for the Bills’ chances of winning the division, and it would dramatically impact their postseason hopes.

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