New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: A New England Patriots helmet during the first half of the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Patriots added a player to their active roster on Wednesday, without making a signing or a trade. Instead, the ‘new’ player is center Dustin Woodard, who was activated from the reserved/retired list according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Woodard was drafted in the seventh round of last year’s draft, but retired just weeks into training camp. At the time, it was reported that Woodard “simply decided to walk away.”

Entering the draft, Woodard was viewed favorably and seen as a potential sleeper. Following the pick, many pointed out the Memphis product fit the same prototype as Patriots’ starting center David Andrews. He was expected to compete for the backup center job, which was vacated by Ted Karras leaving in free agency.

Now returning to the team, Woodard will have an uphill battle for a roster spot with Andrews and Karras both just signed to new contracts. The team still needs backup interior linemen, but he’ll have to show proficiency at guard, a position he hasn’t played since his junior year of college.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at