New England Patriots

Aug 29, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Isaac Alarcon (60) blocks Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale (99) in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots announced on Sunday that they’ve signed defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale to their practice squad, finalizing the 16-man group to start the 2021 season.

Ekuale, 27, played nine games with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020, including five starts. He averaged 45 defensive snaps over the Jags’ final five games of the season. Ekuale logged 13 total tackles to go with a sack and a QB hit.

A former undrafted free agent out of Washington State, Ekuale also spent the 2019 season with the Cleveland Browns, playing seven games.

Most of the practice squad features players who spent 2021 training camp in New England. Current NFL rules allow teams to name veterans to the practice squad and temporarily elevate two players to the 53-man roster per week. This will allow the team to bring up Brian Hoyer, who signed to the practice squad after the Patriots released him during final roster cutdowns.

In addition, the Patriots signed quarterback Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad. Gilbert, 30, was in New England from 2014-15 and has spent time with seven other NFL teams over the past seven seasons.

Ekuale joins Tashawn Bower and Bill Murray as the other defensive lineman on the Patriots’ practice squad. Click here to see the full lineup and read more about the signings.

MORE: Meet The Patriots’ Initial 53-Man Roster For 2021

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