The New England Patriots made a minor shuffle at the back end of the roster, as they waived backup defensive tackle A.J. Francis and decided to promote Josh Kline from the practice squad. Before the Patriots signed Leon Washington, they were expected to promote Josh Kline as the 53rd man on the roster ahead of today’s game in order to provide quality depth at guard. They decided to do that anyway shortly after signing Washington, and they cut Francis in order to clear space for Kline.
I highly doubt Francis ends up getting claimed on waivers by somebody, but he did show up well in the preseason. For what it’s worth, he was also roomates with Joe Vellano in college, and both are once again a DT duo here in New England. Now that Francis has been cut, the Patriots are back down to three defensive tackles with Vellano as the lone backup to Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly.
Before the Patriots signed Francis, many were worried about the Patriots depth at defensive tackles with just three players on the roster. This move shows that the Patriots believe they will get Francis back after the game, and it also shows that they really wanted more depth on the offensive line than at DT. I’m guessing Will Svitek’s knee injury significantly factored into this decision, and it will be interesting to see if Kline is able to get some snaps in.