New England Patriots

Tyler Matakevich of the Pittsburgh Steelers tries to break up a pass to Jason Vander Laan of the Carolina Panthers during their preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

The Patriots announced on Wednesday that they’ve signed tight end Jason Vander Laan to the practice squad. They also officially announced the previously reported signing of quarterback Cody Kessler.

Vander Laan, 27, first signed with the Jets out of Ferris State in 2016. In 2017 he signed with the Colts practice squad, then spent four games on the main roster. In 2018, he spent time on the Panthers’ practice squad and main roster without appearing in any games.

As noted by NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry, Vander Laan set the NCAA record for rushing yards by a quarterback. In 46 games with the Bulldogs, he rushed 1,010 times for 5,953 yards (a 5.9 average) and 81 touchdowns. Here he is running for a 53-yard touchdown, an NCAA record for a quarterback.

Given Vander Laan’s size (6-foot-3, 244 pounds) and skill set as a running quarterback, it’s likely he’s in New England this week to help the Patriots get ready for Bills quarterback Josh Allen. The 6-foot-5 Allen is a threat with his legs in addition to his powerful arm.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at