On Tuesday, the New England Patriots announced the signing of offensive lineman Jason King and linebacker Nicholas Grigsby. The Patriots roster moves bring the roster back to the 53-man limit following the placement of Martellus Bennett and Nate Ebner on injured reserve.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 28, 2017
Linebacker Nicholas Grigsby is a second-year player out of Pittsburgh. The former Panther entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Rams following the 2016 NFL Draft. Grigsby was called up by the Rams for the final six games of the year after beginning the season on the practice squad. Despite racking up 130 special teams snaps, Grigsby has yet to see a play on defense in the NFL.
After being waived by Los Angeles in early September, the Baltimore Ravens signed the former Ram to their practice squad. He spent the remainder of the 2017 season in Baltimore before being signed by the Patriots this week.
Offensive tackle Jason King, an undrafted free agent out of Purdue, is a familiar face to the Patriots squad. The rookie spent time with the team during training camp in August. King was released and subsequently moved to the practice squad prior to the regular season. The former Boilermaker also spent time on the Ravens practice squad this year.
Grigsby To Fill Special Teams Hole
Grigsby projects to play the majority of his snaps in a special teams role. The second-year player will look to fill a void for the Patriots in that respect. After losing special teams tackle leader Nate Ebner to a season-ending knee injury, New England will look to Grigsby to provide some relief in his place.
Bill Belichick had high praise for the new addition, who the Patriots worked out back in September. “I thought at the end of the year last year for the Rams, he did a good job for them,” Belichick said Wednesday. “Not just in our game but kind of the last third of the season or six games or whatever it was that he did a solid job for them. We saw that when he was released at the beginning of the year this year and talked about him then.”
With Kyle Van Noy (calf), Marquis Flowers (knee) and Trevor Reilly (concussion) banged up at the linebacker position in last week’s game against the Miami Dolphins, Grigsby provides some insurance in depth for the defense as well.
Future Unclear for Jason King
As for Jason King, it is still debatable how much help he will bring to the Patriots team. Offensive tackles LaAdrian Waddle (ankle) and Marcus Cannon (knee) missed practice Wednesday. Starting center David Andrews (illness) was a limited participant. Due to his familiarity with the playbook from training camp, there are thoughts that King could be a short-term addition. His presence may simply constitute bringing some depth to the practice field.
Mike Reiss of ESPN expressed his belief that King may not maintain his spot on the 53-man roster come Saturday. With a relatively set depth chart at offensive line, King may find himself without a job should the veterans be healthy enough to return. Of the Patriots roster moves Tuesday, King appears to have a higher hill to climb.
New England practices Thursday and Friday to close out the week. We will have to wait and see what the future holds for the rookie.
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