BOSTON (CBS) – NFL teams have to have their roster trimmed down to 75 players by Tuesday afternoon, but the New England Patriots started the process on Monday by releasing five players.

The Patriots announced on Monday that they have released first-year wide receiver Kamar Aiken, rookie corner back Brandon Jones, nine-year veteran linebacker and special teamer Niko Koutouvides, second-year corner LeQuan Lewis and rookie long snapper Mike Zupancic.

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Koutouvides has been signed and released by the Patriots over the last few years, and there is a good chance he ends up back on the roster at some point should they need help on special teams.

In addition to the cuts, the team also announced that they have re-signed rookie corner Stephon Morris and defensive lineman Scott Vallone. Morris, who went undrafted out of Penn State, was originally signed by the Patriots in early May but was released in August. Vallone, a four-year starter at Rutgers, was signed on August 1 but released on August 19.

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The Patriots also placed rookie defensive lineman Cory Grissom, who suffered a knee injury in Thursday night’s presason loss to the Lions, and second-year tackle Markus Zusevics on injured reserve, and placed defensive lineman Armond Armstead and rookie receiver Mark Harrison on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Armstead and Harrison will remain under the Patriots control, but they cannot practice until after Week 6.

With Monday’s moves, the Patriots roster is at 77 players.

Tune in to the Patriots preseason finale Thursday night against the New York Giants on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. on 98.5 FM, and at 7.p.m. on WBZ with a special edition of Patriots GameDay. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., which a full post game show on 98.5 and a special Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV!

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