BOSTON (CBS) – Rob Gronkowski has returned to practice, but the New England Patriots are still adding a little depth to the tight end position.

The team announced the signing of tight end Matthew Mulligan on Tuesday, a veteran of three NFL seasons and a former Maine Black Bear. Mulligan takes the roster spot that opened up when the team released fullback James Develin on Monday.

The 6-4, 270-pound Mulligan is known more for his blocking, and will give New England another tight end option to play alongside rookie Zach Sudfeld and Michael Hoomanawaunui as Gronkowski recovers from his offseason filled with various surgeries.

Mulligan had eight catches for 84 yards and a touchdown in nine games with the St. Louis Rams last season. He played for the New York Jets from 2009-2011, catching just six passes for 60 yards in 11 games.

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The 28-year-old Mulligan spent training camp with the Green Bay Packers but was released on Saturday.

Mulligan went undrafted after attending the University of Maine, and also spent time on the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans’ practice squads.

With Mulligan, the Patriots roster will be back up to 53 players.

In addition, the Patriots announced the signings of rookie tackles Jordan Devey and R.J. Dill to the team’s practice squad.

Tune in to the Patriots season opener against the Buffalo Bills Sunday at 1 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 10 a.m. on 98.5 FM with Patriots Preview and at 11:30 a.m. on WBZ-TV with Patriots GameDay. Following the game stay tuned for full postgame coverage on the Sports Hub, and Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s postgame press conferences on Patriots 5th Quarter over on myTV38 .


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