New England Patriots

A view of the practice field next to Gillette Stadium in Foboro, Mass., where the Patriots take part in off-season workouts and in-season practices. (Credit: Alex Barth/98.5 The Sports Hub)

On Thursday, the Patriots held practice for the first time since the league’s roster cut deadline Tuesday afternoon. There’s been a number of transactions since then, but everybody brought in by the team in the previous 24 hours was able to make it to Foxborough in time for the session.

The Patriots had nearly perfect attendance on Thursday, with practice squad cornerback D’Angelo Ross the lone unexpected absence. That included the five players acquired since training camp ended late last week. Here’s a quick note on each, as well as their new numbers.

  • WR Malcolm Perry (No. 19)

    Malcolm Perry was claimed on waivers Wednesday morning, and is the lone new addition heading directly to the 53-man active roster. A former Navy QB, he’s developed into a hybrid wide receiver/running back in the NFL.

    With N’Keal Harry on IR, the Patriots will need a fourth wide receiver for the first three weeks of the season, so there’s immediate snaps available for Perry to take. His early arrival is a good sign as he has just a week and a half to learn the Patriots’ playbook.

  • QB Garrett Gilbert (No. 14)

    In addition to bringing back Brian Hoyer on the practice squad, the Patriots also signed 30-year-old quarterback Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad as well. Gilbert will add another veteran voice to the quarterback room to work with rookie starter Mac Jones.

    While the Patriots can promote Gilbert or Hoyer from the practice squad to be the backup, each player can only be elevated twice. At some point, they’ll have to choose between the two and sign one (or add another QB) to the active roster. Jarrett Stidham can’t be activated until after Week 6 after being placed on reserve PUP to start the season.

  • FB Ben Mason (No. 35)

    Fullback Ben Mason also made the trip up from Baltimore in time for this first Patriots practice. Mason will start on the practice squad, but according to Ian Rapoport, a “quick elevation [is] likely.” 

  • LB Jahlani Tavai (No. 52)

    Want an example of a textbook post-training camp/early season Patriots signing? Look to further than linebacker Jahlani Tavai, who joins the team on the practice squad. A high second-round pick in 2019, Tavai failed to reach expectations with the Detroit Lions, leading to his release on Tuesday. The Patriots picked him up as another potential reclamation project.

    On top of his career story arc, Tavai projects to be a scheme fit for the Patriots as well. At 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, he’s their typical downhill, run stopping middle linebacker. Don’t be surprised if he gets elevated at some point this season, especially if Dont’a Hightower or Ja’Whaun Bentley are dealing with injuries.

  • OL Yasir Durant (No. 63)

    The Patriots traded for Yasir Durant before the roster cuts on Monday, but he wasn’t spotted at practice later on that day. The 23-year-old did make the 53-man roster, and was spotted on Thursday wearing number 63.