FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- On Tuesday, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said that the team had a few moving parts but hoped to fill its eighth and final practice squad spot in a few days.
Running backs James Johnson (Kansas State) and Javarris Williams (Tennessee State) were in for tryouts, although neither was signed immediately after the workout. That might be an indication that the Patriots want to look at a few more options before making a decision.
Johnson, 26, played in the final four games of the 2008 season for the Bengals after being signed as an undrafted free agent and beginning the season on their practice squad. He returned to the Bengals’ practice squad for the 2009 season before being signed by the Vikings in January 2010. After being waived by Minnesota, he returned to Cincinnati for the 2010 preseason, but did not survive final cuts. He spent the first six weeks of the 2010 regular season on the Packers’ practice squad before being released on October 19.
Williams, 24, was a seventh-round draft choice of the Chiefs in 2009. He spent the first 12 weeks of the season on the Chiefs’ practice squad before being signed to the active roster for the remainder of the season. He was released by Kansas City during final cuts in 2010 and was signed to the Seahawks’ practice squad on October 5 before being released six days later.
The Patriots are down a running back after waiving Thomas Clayton on Saturday to make room for safety Sergio Brown on the 53-man active roster. Had Clayton cleared waivers (the Browns claimed him), the team might have simply re-signed him.
With Fred Taylor (toe injury) still ailing, the Patriots are thin with just BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead and Sammy Morris. Taylor has been out since the third week of the season.