The New England Patriots had some major shake-ups in their roster today. Veteran WR Torry Holt, who signed a one-year deal with the team this offseason, will never get to suit up for the team. Holt was placed on IR due to a knee injury that he will have surgery on this week. Unless Holt tries to give it one more go next year, this would mark the end of a wonderful NFL career. Taking his place on the roster is WR Buddy Farnham who was with the team earlier in camp. Farnham is a local product who attended Brown. Holt had an uphill climb to make the roster with all of the young receivers in camp, while Farnham would have to look pretty spectacular in preseason games to have a shot at the roster. Farnham looks like a good candidate for the practice squad.
In other moves, the Patriots released S Ross Ventrone and signed OL Brian Simmons. On the positive side, DL Ron Brace finally joined his teammates in practice, first participating in the morning walk-through and then donning full pads in the afternoon. His return couldn’t have come at a better time as the team lost DE Ty Warren for the year when he was placed on IR a couple of days ago. Brace was Warren’s top back-up in mini-camps but never saw the field during training camp reportedly because he could not pass the conditioning test. He has a ways to go now as he has fallen behind many of his teammates, including veterans Gerard Warren and Damione Lewis. Hopefully Brace can start showing that talent that made him a force at Boston College and a second-round pick.
Also making his return to the practice field was DE/OLB Derrick Burgess, who apparently had never contemplated retirement. His absence from camp was due to a “personal family matter” that he had to take care of. According to Burgess, Bill Belichick was aware of his situation and allowed him to take whatever time he needed to clear everything up. He has taken care of his personal business and is “glad to be back,” and has “no reservations” about playing football. That’s good news as he will surely be called on to assist a pass rush that is trying to hit the ground running as the preseason turns to the regular season. That pass rush may have taken a hit as OLB Tully Banta-Cain did not finish practice today after sustaining what looked like an ankle injury. Rookie OLB Jermain Cunningham also has remained out of practice due to an undisclosed injury. It seems that so far in camp, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. As players return, others seem to leave. With three more preseason games to go, let’s hope the team can avoid any more serious injuries and get healthier heading into the season.