New England Patriots

EUGENE, OR – SEPTEMBER 26: Offensive lineman J.J. Dielman #68 of the Utah Utes celebrates with fans after they beat the Oregon Ducks 62-20 at Autzen Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

The mystery offensive lineman spotted at Friday’s training camp session was revealed early Friday evening, as the Patriots have confirmed the signing of J.J. Dielman to a contract.

Dielman, who played his college football at Utah, originally entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick  in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, taken with the 176th overall pick.

But the 6-foot-5 lineman was released by Cincinnati prior to the start of the 2017 season, and though he was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Rams, Dielman would spend just one week on the Rams’ active roster before he was released and signed to the Cincinnati practice squad. Dielman was later signed away from Cincy’s practice squad by Denver (and to the Broncos’ 53-man roster) on Dec. 16 2017, but was inactive for the final two games of the regular season. He was released by Denver on Sept. 11, 2018, and spent portions for the rest of the season on the Seattle Seahawks and Rams practice squads.

Long story short, Dielman has yet to make an appearance in an NFL game.

The addition of Dielman does bolster New England’s depth in front of their quarterbacks, however, which seemed necessary given the placement of Brian Schwenke on the team’s reserve/retired list earlier this week, as well as 2018 first-round Isaiah Wynn’s lack of involvement in any contact drills as he continues to recovery from an Achilles’ injury suffered last summer.

The Patriots will have their first padded practice of training camp on Saturday morning behind Gillette Stadium.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.