Patriots make series of roster moves prior to hosting Bills


Prior to their Week 16 showdown against the Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots have made a series of roster moves.

Per the league's transaction wire, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne has indeed returned from the reserve/COVID list, but defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. has landed in the league's COVID protocol.

In addition, the team announced that linebacker Josh Uche had been activated off injured reserve and that three players had been elevated from the practice squad to the active roster, including defensive lineman Daniel Ekuale, defensive back D'Angelo Ross and wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson.

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Uche is set to return after missing four straight games for the Patriots. While the second-year linebacker from Michigan got off to a strong start this season, with three sacks over the team's first two games, he had been invisible since then with just one quarterback hit over his following seven contests as his playing time diminished.

Uche, who played a season-high 35 snaps against the New York Jets in Week 2, played 31 snaps against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two weeks later but hasn't topped 30 snaps in a game since.

Ekuale has two sacks in four games for New England this season, including one in the team's 14-10 win over the Bills earlier this month. Wilkerson played four snaps on offense against the Carolina Panthers in November for the Patriots and Ross is yet to appear in an NFL regular season game.

The Patriots also lost a punter off their practice squad Saturday, as the Pittsburgh Steelers signed away Corliss Waitman to their active roster.