New England Patriots

  • As the Patriots get ready for their Monday night matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, they’re adding some athleticism to their front seven. The team’s two practice squad elevations, announced early Monday evening, are a pair of rangy linebackers in Jamie Collins and Cameron McGrone.

    Collins will play in his second game of the season. He was also elevated and played 22 defensive snaps in the Week 7 loss to the Bears.

    McGrone’s elevation is a bit more eye-catching. The Patriots drafted him out of Michigan in the fifth round in 2021, shortly after he tore his ACL. After making the pick, the team acknowledged he likely wouldn’t play as a rookie while rehabbing, which was the case.

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  • Heading into this season, McGrone figured to be a key part of the Patriots modernizing their defense and adding speed to the unit, given his ‘moneybacker’ playing style at Michigan. However, that explosiveness he showed in college wasn’t regularly apparent during camp, and he ended up getting cut and re-signed to the practice squad.

    Between Collins and McGrone, the Patriots have added more range at the second level. Such players can be important when defending mobile quarterbacks, something the Patriots have struggled with this year. Cardinals’ QB Kyler Murray is considered one of the top scrambling quarterbacks in the NFL.

    It also seems notable that both practice squad elevations this week come on the defensive side of the ball, considering the fact the team is dealing with a number of key injuries offensively. Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (concussion) and tackle Isaiah Wynn (foot) have already been ruled out, while running back Damien Harris (thigh) is doubtful. Tackles Trent Brown (illness) and Yodny Cajuste (calf/back) are both questionable. On defense, cornerback Jalen Mills (groin) has been ruled out.

  • 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