New England Patriots

The New England Patriots opened up three spots on their 53-man roster late Monday afternoon by way of waiving wide receivers Chad Hansen and Riley McCarron and a trip to the season-ending injured reserve for running back Jeremy Hill.

The decision to move on from McCarron comes after the 25-year-old fumbled a punt and turned the ball over late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 27-20 win over the Houston Texans. The fumble, recovered by the Texans, led to points on the board and made the game a lot closer than it should have been for a Patriot defense that did their job against Deshaun Watson and Co.

The 5-foot-9 McCarron was also targeted just once in the passing game, and finished the game without a reception.

McCarron’s departure leaves the Patriots with almost no experienced punt returners on their current roster, though, leaving safety Patrick Chung as perhaps the club’s best option. Chung has just three punt returns in his NFL career.

Hansen, claimed off waivers from the Jets on Sept. 2, was among the team’s seven inactives on Sunday.

Hill’s move to the injured reserve comes after a devastating torn ACL suffered on a hit from Patriots teammate James Develin. Hill had 25 yards rushing on four carries in Sunday’s 27-20 win over the Texans, and added a reception for six yards.

In terms of the open roster spots, the Patriots reportedly worked out wide receiver Corey Coleman on Monday. The Patriots also had wideouts Bennie Fowler and Greg Ward in for workouts, according to Howard Balzer.

Free agent wideout Dez Bryant, meanwhile, has continued to openly talk about the Patriots and his desire to join the team.