Patriots Sign Hank Poteat, Put Gay on IR

The New England Patriots re-signed journeyman defender Hank Poteat today to shore up an injury depleted secondary. Just three weeks into the season, the Patriots have placed their third defensive back, Randall Gay, on injured reserve. Gay was the latest loss from the Patriots secondary after injuring his hamstring.

FOXBORO, Mass. -- After bringing in three more defensive backs for a tryout on Tuesday, the New England Patriots opted to bring back an old friend, Hank Poteat. The Patriots signed Poteat today and placed Randall Gay in injured reserve.

Poteat originally signed with the Patriots during their playoff run in the 2004-05 season. He joined the team January 10th, 2005 and played alongside Troy Brown and other reserve defenders as the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl in Jacksonville, ultimately defeating the Philadelphia Eagles.

In an on-again, off-again relationship with the Patriots, Poteat was became a free agent after the 2005 season, was re-signed for the 2006 season, was released prior to the mandatory 53-man roster cuts, and was resigned nearly a month alter.

The 5-foot-10, 192-pound Pittsburgh product has appeared in 10 regular-season games and five playoff games for the Patriots.

Gay, 24, ended his season early with a hamstring injury. The Patriots placed the 5-foot-11, 190-pound cornerback on IR for the second time in as many seasons. After starting in the Super Bowl against the Eagles, Gay has fought ankle and leg injuries which have kept the undrafted LSU product off the field nearly a third of his three NFL seasons. Gay has participated in 23 games, with 11 starts.

Although he started all three of Patriots' 2004 playoff games at cornerback he was listed behind Ellis Hobbs and Asante Samuel the New England depth chart, seeing action in passing coverages and on special teams in 2006.

Notes: Gay is the third defensive back the Patriots have placed on injured reserve this season. Mel Mitchell and Tebucky Jones have already been sidelined by injuries. ... Poteat was one of six defenders brought in for a look the last two weeks, and one of three to work out on Tuesday. Keion Carpenter, Brent Alexander and Lance Schulters all worked out last week. Ray Mikens and Raymond Walls worked out with Poteat yesterday. ... Poteat signed with the New York Jets August 31st, just two days after after being released by the Patriots this year. ... Poteat has the ability to return return kicks for the Patriots and spent a fair amount of time doing so during training camp.

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