Patriots

Patriots

FOXBORO -- The Patriots announced on Thursday afternoon that they have waived defensive lineman Khyri Thornton, clearing a spot on their 53-man roster. 

Thornton was claimed by the Patriots off of waivers during Week 1, but was released soon thereafter and added to the Patriots practice squad. The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder was promoted to the 53-man roster on Oct. 1 but did not see any game action.

Now that the Patriots have an open roster spot, there are a handful of options to fill it. Given that it's relatively late in the week, it's unlikely that the Patriots add a player to their active roster for the Jets game so let's train our focus on in-house options.

Brandon LaFell, WR: This seems to be the most obvious choice given that LaFell began practicing this week. After spending the season to this point on the physically unable to perform list, LaFell appears to be healthy enough to play, but the Patriots have three weeks to determine whether or not he will be activated. With receiver Keshawn Martin landing on the injury report Thursday (he was limited with a hamstring injury), LaFell could quickly step into a significant role against a talented Jets secondary. 

Chris Harper, WR: If the team feels like LaFell isn't quite ready, and if Martin's injury is significant enough to affect his availability, the Patriots could sign Harper off the practice squad to give them a third wideout. Harper played 12 snaps in the opener against the Steelers.

 

Chris Barker, OL: The Patriots are hurting along their offensive line, and Barker could provide some depth and versatility. He's practiced at guard, center and tackle during his time with the team, and with Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon dealing with injuries, they may need to sign a healthy body off the practice squad.

Blaine Clausell, OL: The 6-foot-6, 339-pound practice squad player has the length the Patriots look for in a tackle, and if they need a player at that spot in a pinch, he could be the choice. On the current 53-man roster, Sebastian Vollmer and Cameron Fleming are the only two tackles that have practiced this week. Guard josh Kline could potentially play there since it's a job he handled in college. Tight end Michael Williams also has experience at tackle after playing that spot for the Lions last season and through training camp this season.