FOXBORO -- The Patriots had a pair of roster spots to fill this week after placing both Nate Ebner and Martellus Bennett on injured reserve.
They filled one with undrafted rookie Jason King, an offensive lineman out of Purdue who spent training camp in New England. Given the injuries to Marcus Cannon, LaAdrian Waddle and David Andrews' illness -- and given the difficulty of finding young NFL-caliber offensive linemen -- the addition made sense.
The other opening went to linebacker Nicholas Grigsby, a special-teamer who could help provide depth in the kicking game after Ebner went down. Grigsby likely won't be a one-for-one swap with Ebner -- who played on five of six special teams units -- but he could potentially help to fill the gaps if the Patriots take a multi-pronged approach to replacing one of their best players in the kicking game.
Grigsby played in six games with the Rams last season, including one against the Patriots, and joined the Ravens practice squad after being released by the Rams before the start of this season. Now in his second season, Grigsby was undrafted out of Pitt, which is where he first caught the eye of the Patriots front office.
"I thought at the end of the year last year for the Rams he did a good job for them," Bill Belichick said on Wednesday. "Not just in our game, but kind of that last third of the season. He did a solid job for them. We saw that. When he was released at the beginning of the year this year, we talked about him then. It didn't really work out at that time. Didn't have a roster spot . . . But as time went along, we got into a situation last week where we felt like adding him to the roster last week would benefit the team. We've tracked him from college, from Pittsburgh, to the Rams to here."
The Patriots will practice for the first time with their new addition on Wednesday afternoon.