By CBSBoston.com Staff

FOXBORO (CBS) — The Patriots are bringing back one of the team’s standout practice squad players. Defensive lineman Daniel Ekuale has signed a future contract, the team announced on Tuesday.

Ekuale was signed to the New England practice squad in September, and despite never being on the 53-man roster, he carved out a fairly regular spot in the team’s lineup. The 28-year-old was elevated to the active roster for seven regular season contests and New England’s playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills, playing 23 percent of New England’s snaps in those games.

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Ekuale racked up five total tackles and two sacks in the regular season before recording one assist in the postseason.

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He is now one of seven players to sign a futures contract with the Patriots for 2022. Ekuale entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Washington State, signing with the Cleveland Browns in 2018. He spent most of his rookie season on Cleveland’s practice squad before making the 53-man roster in 2019. He was released by the Browns at the end of training camp in 2020, and signed with the Jacksonville practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster in late September.

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Ekuale was released by Jacksonville in August 2021 and was signed to the New England practice squad on Sept. 5. Overall, the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder has played in 23 regular season games in the NFL, registering 22 total tackles and three sacks.

CBSBoston.com Staff