Pats reshuffle practice squad by signing ex-Miami LB


The New England Patriots welcomed a new face to the Gillette Stadium practice field Friday, and it appears he's sticking around.

The Patriots have signed undrafted free agent linebacker Michael Pinckney, who was spotted wearing No. 48 during Friday's practice session. The team released defensive lineman Xavier Williams from the practice squad in a corresponding move.

The 22-year-old Pinckney, who worked out for the Patriots earlier this week, was a four-year starter at Miami (Fla.) and earned Freshman All-America honors in 2016.

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He underwent hip surgery in March and went undrafted this spring after not participating in the NFL Scouting Combine.

At 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, Pinckney could play in a hybrid linebacker/safety role similar to that of rookie Kyle Dugger or veteran Adrian Phillips. He also recorded 12.5 tackles for loss and five sacks as a senior for the Hurricanes in 2019.

Williams saw playing time in New England's Week 1 win over the Miami Dolphins but reverted back to the practice squad after the game.