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Monday, December 24, 2012
Source: 1 week Cunningham exemption

By Field Yates

The four-game suspension for Patriots defensive end Jermaine Cunningham concluded Sunday, and the team has received a one-week exemption for his roster spot, according to a league source.

That means the Patriots will have until next Monday to activate Cunningham to the roster, which they are fully expected to do.

Cunningham, 24, has developed into the team's top reserve defensive end and a situational interior pass-rusher. He was suspended for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Cunningham has 2.5 sacks and 23 tackles in 11 games played this season (three starts).

Last week, coach Bill Belichick talked about Cunningham's pending return and how it tied into the management of the roster (link HERE).

After this afternoon's transactions, the Patriots have two open spots on the 53-man roster.