With James Develin and Jakob Johnson on the injured reserve, the Patriots currently find themselves without a fullback.
Bill Belichick and Co. could look to change that in the near future, though, as the team brought in three fullbacks for a workout at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
The Patriots had TE/FB Orson Charles, FB Ricky Ortiz and RB/FB George Aston in for free-agent workouts. The team is always updating emergency lists.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 16, 2019
The 6-foot-3 Orson Charles has appeared in 47 career NFL games since 2012, and has played both fullback and tight end in his NFL career. Charles totaled three catches for 23 yards in 13 games with the Browns last year, and spent the summer with the Broncos, where he appeared in two preseason games for Denver before failing to make the team’s 53-man roster.
Ricky Ortiz, meanwhile, appeared in 12 games as a rookie fullback for the Falcons last year. Atlanta released the 25-year-old Ortiz, who played his college football at Oregon State, earlier this year with an injury settlement.
An undrafted rookie out of Pittsburgh, George Aston appeared in three preseason games with the Broncos this summer, and totaled two catches (on three targets) for seven yards during his run in Denver.
Now, the familiar “updating emergency lists” note from Reiss is always worth mentioning, as that’s typically thrown out there as an indication that a signing isn’t exactly imminent, but rather the workout was just due diligence on the part of the team.
But the Patriots could certainly find themselves in need of a fullback eventually, even after the signing of tight ends Ben Watson and Eric Tomlinson, which were made official in a busy Tuesday of roster shuffling from Belichick.
The Patriots return to action on Monday night against the New York Jets.