Shiancoe could return midway through the season under a new rule allowing teams to designate one player it can restore to the roster from IR.
In practice squad moves Wednesday, the Patriots signed wide receiver Kerry Taylor and offensive lineman Jeremiah Warren, and released fullback Eric Kettani and wide receiver Sam Kirkland.
Hoomanawanui is the third player currently on the Patriots who played last season for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels when he held that same role with the St. Louis Rams. The others are wide receivers Brandon Lloyd and Greg Salas.
Hoomanawanui, who was released by the Rams on Sunday, had 20 catches in two seasons with the St. Louis.