Comings and Goings
By Patriots Insider Staff
In a flurry of activity normally reserved for Monday and Tuesday, the Patriots have shuffled the roster around to cope with the devastating injuries to Rodney Harrison, Matt Light and Kevin Faulk. All three suffered long-term injuries Sunday against the Steelers will not be returning to the lineup for at least a couple months (Light and Faulk) or at least next season (Harrison). PI breaks down the new faces around town.
LB Wesly Mallard was released on Monday to make room for the team's inbound players. With the return of LB Tully Banta-Cain from a leg injury, Mallard was occupying a roster spot the team needed. Mallard saw limited action for the Patriots, most of which came on special teams. Banta-Cain is in the rotation at outside linebacker, as well as on special teams, reducing the need to keep Mallard.
S Rodney Harrison has been placed on the reserve / injured list, ending his season. Harrison suffered a major knee injury tearing the ACL, MCL and PCL ligaments in his left leg. It's the type of injury that is cause for concern for any young athlete who hopes to return. Harrison is soon to be 33, and coming off an injury of that magnitude has more to worry about than younger players. It is the second time in as many seasons the Patriots lost a starting veteran leader of the secondary at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.
WR Andre Davis was released on Wednesday to make room on the roster for a running back. Davis who hadn't played for the Patriots in their first three games of the season, was sidelined by a foot injury which kept him off the field. The return of a healthy Bethel Johnson, coupled with the necessity to make room for a back, hastened Davis' departure.
LB Jared Newberry was released from the practice squad. Originally drafted by the Redskins, Newberry was a sixth-round (183) choice in the 2005 NFL draft. The Patriots signed Newberry to the practice squad September 4, 2005.
OL Ryan Krug, who was released by the Patriots September 8, 2005, was added to the team's practice squad. Krug originally signed with the Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Connecticut. His signing comes on the heels of news about the loss of OL Matt Light due to a broken bone in his leg.
S Michael Stone was signed by the team to add depth to an injury-depleted unit. With the loss of Rodney Harrison for the year, the team needed a back to fill in. Stone who was originally drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round (54th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft, is projected to be versatile enough to play corner or safety, and was the most impressive of the bunch of free agents the team worked out Monday and Tuesday. Stone had signed with the St. Louis Rams, March 15, 2005, but was released by the St. Louis in the final roster cutdown on Sept. 4, 2005.
OL Gene Mruczkowski was resigned by the team and added to the 53-man active roster. He originally with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent May 16, 2003. The Patriots previously released Mruczkowski on Sept. 3, 2005 during cutdown weekend. He had been contacted by a number of other teams, but remained in New England with the hopes of returning. Mruczkowski's interior line experience adds depth to a raw and depleted offensive line.
RB Amos Zereoue was added to the Patriots active roster on Wednesday. The injury to Kevin Faulk who apparently broke something in his foot according to some sources, created a necessity to add a running back to the roster. The Patriots had RB Kory Chapman signed off their practice squad by the Indianapolis Colts just over a week ago, which opened the door for Zereoue. The 5-8, 205-pound Zereoue is known for being that change of pace style back, earning playing time with the Steelers Jerome Bettis as a third down back in Pittsburgh.
The Waiting List:
OL Matt Light, apparently suffered a broken bone in his lower leg in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Light had another lineman roll over the back of his ankle from behind while he was engaged in a block. Light reportedly underwent surgery to repair the bone, and will miss most of the regular season. According to some sources, Light may be able to return as early as the final month of the regular season and quite possibly be available for the playoffs.
RB Kevin Faulk suffered a foot injury on first play of
the Patriots final game-winning scoring drive late in the fourth quarter against
the Steelers. Faulk hobbled to the sideline after making a cut on the turf to
get out of bounds. He was seen favoring one leg in the locker room after the game.
Reports have indicated, Faulk may miss as much as eight weeks prompting the Patriots
to sign Zereoue immediately.
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