FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Since forming their initial eight-man practice squad Sept. 1, the New England Patriots have made six practice-squad transactions. The most recent came Tuesday with the signing of defensive tackle A.J. Francis and release of receiver Quentin Sims.
After all the juggling, the following is the team's practice squad:
C Braxton Cave
LB Ja'Gared Davis
S Kanorris Davis
OT Jordan Devey
OT R.J. Dill
DT A.J. Francis
CB Justin Green
After all the shuffling, a few things have come into focus on the team's roster-building strategy on the practice squad:
1. Offensive-line depth targeted. This is, in part, a result of not drafting an offensive lineman over the past two years. Line coach Dante Scarnecchia has had success in developing under-the-radar talent on the practice squad (e.g. current starters Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly).
2. Defensive tackle a key spot. After Armond Armstead underwent surgery for an infection before training camp, it left the Patriots thin at the position. The Patriots haven't drafted a tackle in the past three years, so this is their attempt to offset that.
3. Outside help is tapped. Often, the majority of a practice squad is comprised of players who spent training camp with the team. But this year has been a bit outside the norm for the Patriots, as just three of the players on the current practice squad were with them in training camp (Kanorris Davis, Forston, Green).