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Michigan linebacker Cameron McGrone lines up against Indiana.

The Patriots could be getting added depth on the defensive side of the ball late in the season, and it’s coming from a surprise source.

Rookies linebacker Cameron McGrone and safety Joshuah Bledsoe were spotted at Patriots practice for the first time this season on Tuesday. Both had been on the non-football injury list since the start of the season.

McGrone hasn’t been a full participant in a practice since getting drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round this past spring. While at Michigan last year, McGrone tore his ACL and hasn’t played since. When the Patriots drafted him in May, Bill Belichick told reporters the team didn’t expect him to play this year.

Bledsoe was also limited all spring and summer, recovering from wrist surgery after suffering an injury at the Senior Bowl. He was one of the team’s two sixth-round picks along with tackle Williams Sherman.

With McGrone and Bledsoe taking part in practice, the team now has a 21-day window to add them to the active roster. If they’re not activated by that time, they’ll be ineligible for the remainder of the season.

The Patriots also had a new specialist at practice, who is punter Corliss Waitman according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Waitman was one of three punters to visit the Patriots for a free agent workout earlier this month. The team currently has three open practice squad spots.

MORE: Patriots celebrate win over Falcons

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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 abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.