BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots have signed offensive lineman Donald Thomas, the team announced Wednesday.

Thomas, a right guard, was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of UConn. He started his first game in the NFL, but spent the rest of the season on injured reserve after suffering a foot injury.Thomas started 12 games in 2009, but was released by Miami prior to the 2010 season. He signed with Detroit in November of 2010, but was inactive for the final six games of the season.

Read: Koppen Needs Surgery, Out 6-10 Weeks

He was released by the Lions on September 3.

Thomas will provide more depth on the offensive line for New England, with Sebastian Vollmer suffering from a lingering back injury. Rookie Nate Solder took over for Vollmer at right tackle, and played extremely well against Miami’s Cameron Wake and the rest of their pass rush.

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

To make room for Thomas, the Patriots released offensive lineman Thomas Welch.

New England also signed tight end Garrett Mills and linebacker Jeff Tarpinian to the practice squad and released LB Aaron Lavarias from the practice squad.


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