The New England Patriots have signed linebacker and special teams contributor Jeff Tarpinian off of the practice squad, as fellow linebacker and special teams ace Tracy White is still out with a foot injury. Rookie linebacker Dont’a Hightower is also listed questionable with a hamstring injury, so it makes sense to bring in additional depth at the linebacker position.
Tarpinian had a couple of strong performances in the preseason and is, in my opinion, a better down linebacker than White anyway. I was surprised when White made the 53-man roster over him, but it was good to see Tarpinian on the practice squad. The 25-year-old Iowa product will help the depth at the position, and the Pats linebackers will need to be up to stopping the New York Jets ground-and-pound. Shonn Greene had a big game last week against the Indianapolis Colts, and he will look to keep that momentum going against a much better run defense.
In a corresponding move, the Patriots once again cut former New Orleans Saints and Boston College center Matt Tennant; a solid backup at the position. Sacrifices need to be made in order to ensure depth at key positions, and I wouldn’t rule out a Tennant signing in the future. He has been cut twice and re-signed once since being claimed off of waivers on the first day of September.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.