BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots used two third-round picks on tight ends in April. Neither of those picks are on the active roster at the moment.
Dalton Keene joined fellow rookie tight end Devin Asiasi on IR on Tuesday, further straining New England’s depth at the position. Ryan Izzo is the only healthy tight end on the roster — for now.
With Keene landing on IR, the Patriots claimed Jordan Thomas off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals. The team also signed tight ends Dylan Cantrell and David Wells to the practice squad, bringing in a total of three new tight ends on Tuesday.
That’s some major reconstruction to the depth chart midway through the season, but Keene couldn’t stay healthy and Asiasi is sidelined for an unknown reason. The Patriots have received next to nothing out of tight ends this season, with Izzo accounting for nine of the team’s 10 receptions from the position. With Izzo the only healthy tight end for Monday night’s win over the Jets, the Patriots had tackle Korey Cunningham play a few snaps at the position.
Now in comes Thomas, who is a monster at 6-foot-5 and 277 pounds. That should help New England from a blocking standpoint, but the 2018 sixth-round pick by the Texans has just 22 receptions for 226 yards over his three-year career. At least five of those receptions went for touchdowns, four of which came during his rookie season. With the Cardinals this season, Thomas had just one reception — a three-yard touchdown grab in Week 4.
In addition to all those moves at tight end, the Patriots also released rookie linebacker Cassh Maluia and released defensive lineman Ryan Glasgow from the practice squad on Tuesday.
The 3-5 Patriots host the 6-2 Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football this weekend.