The Patriots activated RB Kevin Faulk and DE Brandon Deaderick from the physically-unable-to-perform list to the 53-man roster and placed rookie CB Ras-I Dowling on injured reserve.
Dowling started the first two games of the season but has not played since, as he has been battling a hip injury. The Patriots cut CB Leigh Bodden on Friday, leaving them with four corners — Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Antwaun Molden and Phillip Adams.
Faulk tore his ACL in Week Two last season. He signed a one-year deal with the team in July and began the season on the PUP list. The 13-year veteran has over 7,000 total yards in his career.
Deaderick, a seventh-round pick last year, was on the PUP list with a shoulder injury. He played in 10 games with four starts last season, recording two sacks. The Alabama grad also started the team's playoff game and had four tackles.
The way we see it
Dowling was a first-round talent if it weren't for injuries in college, and it appears injuries are continuing to hamper him in his pro career. The Patriots had high hopes for Dowling as a physical corner to help the third-down defense. Expect Molden to see a lot of snaps now as the team's No. 3 corner.
We know how much Bill Belichick respects what Faulk brings to the team on and off the field. It will be interesting to see how much he is involved on third down, as Danny Woodhead had a breakout 2010 in Faulk's place. This means less playing time for rookie RB Shane Vereen.
Deaderick brings much needed depth to the D-line. He can play inside and out and could help the pass rush.