FOXBORO -- The Patriots found themselves looking for a tight end recently, and they plucked one for their practice squad who has significant in-game experience.
The team announced on Thursday that it signed tight end Will Tye, who played in 29 games for the Giants in 2015 and 2016, recording 859 yards receiving and four touchdowns. He played in three games with the Jets this season, making four catches before being released earlier this month.
The 6-foot-2, 256-pounder is in his third season out of Stony Brook and should provide depth at a position where the Patriots could use some. Rob Gronkowski (thigh) was forced to miss last week's game with the Bucs, and he has been limited in practice this week.
Tye joins a tight end room that includes Dwayne Allen (who does not yet have a catch this season and admitted this week his performance has been underwhelming), undrafted rookie Jacob Hollister and fullback James Develin.
The Patriots also added linebacker Trevor Reilly to the practice squad. In order to make room for Tye and Reilly, the team released defensive back Alex Carter and offensive lineman Cole Toner was placed on the practice-squad injured reserve list.
FOXBORO -- It appears the Patriots will be without Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe again Sunday.
Neither player was seen on the field for the media portion of Friday’s practice, capping a week in which neither Gilmore (concussion) nor Rowe (groin) practiced. Harvey Langi also remained off the field a week after his car accident.
Assuming the Patriots are without Gilmore and Rowe, a secondary that has struggled this season will face an even bigger challenge against Atlanta’s passing attack Sunday night.
FOXBORO -- Julio Jones: He’s the best, right? No? No touchdowns this season? He stinks? He’s going to score against the Patriots because their defense stinks? Real breakout game for ol’ No. 11 in red? Who knows?! Lmao.
I’ll tell you what Bill Belichick knows: That Jones is not a one-dimensional player. While “deep threat” might be the first thing that comes to mind with ol’ No. 11 in red, Belichick said the Patriots are preparing for anything and everything from ol’ No. 11 in red.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t say [he’s just a deep threat],” Belichick said. “I mean, he catches a lot of in-cuts, a lot of over routes, out routes, the one he caught against us last year. He’s good on catch-and-run plays, he’s hard to tackle, he’s strong, slants, so he’s pretty good on everything. You know, same thing, but I mean, they screened everybody. They screened the backs and the receivers and Gabriel, Jones. I mean, they all can get the ball. They’re not just going to screen to one guy and just key on that guy. They mix it up.”
The Patriots will mix it up with the Falcons Sunday night at Gillette Stadium. Jones has 25 catches for 367 yards on the season.