The Patriots have signed OT Thomas Welch from their practice squad in order to give them more depth up front. To create a spot on the roster, LB Jeff Tarpinian was released.
Welch's presence on the 53-man roster is necessary because of the back injury to starting ORT Sebastian Vollmer. With Vollmer out, rookie Nate Solder will be in the starting lineup at right tackle, leaving a spot open on the bench for Welch.
Welch was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2010 draft, but failed to make their roster last season. He spent all of 2010 on the Vikings' practice squad before returning to New England last week.
The team opted to keep Tarpinian on the 53-man roster initially, despite the undrafted rookie missing much of camp with an injury. It is expected that if he clears waivers, the linebacker would return to the Patriots on their practice squad.