The Patriots announced Wednesday that they have signed linebacker Bobby Carpenter.
Carpenter was signed by New England in April as a free agent. He went through all the rigors of training camp before falling victim to final roster cuts. The move was somewhat as a surprise at the time as he'd performed well enough to be considered solid depth for the position.
It seems the Patriots now need it.
Dont'a Hightower played just nine snaps Sunday against Buffalo before suffering a hamstring injury. The team announced his return as questionable, but the rookie came back to the bench only to sit, helmet off, for the rest of the game.
Carpenter will provide the insurance needed if Hightower will need to miss time.
The Patriots also announced the release of defensive lineman Terrell McClain, which was reported by Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran on Tuesday.
Tight end Alex Silvestro has been added back on to the practice squad, while offensive lineman Thomas Austin has been let go from the practice squad.
FOXBORO - Scratch the estimable Sammy Watkins from the Bills roster for Sunday.
Buffalo shared via Twitter that their long, tall wideout is out for Sunday with a foot injury. Also down are wideout Greg Salas and left tackle Cyrus Kouandijo.
The Bills' starting left tackle Cordy Glenn has been dealing with an ankle injury that caused him to miss last week's game.
Robert Woods will be the Bills best outside threat with Watkins taking Sunday off. The Bills' talented corner Ronald Darby is also trying to get back this week from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss last week's game with Arizona.
FOXBORO - There were no tells about the Patriots quarterback situation for Sunday during the portion of Friday practice the media was allowed to watch.
Jimmy Garoppolo, who on Wednesday was seen throwing short and medium-range passes without a lot of zip, hasn't thrown a ball with media in attendance since. Friday morning, after stretching and jogging, Garoppolo began a session feigning taking a snap from a center and going into a drop. But he did so without a football in his hands.
Rookie Jacoby Brissett did flip a few passes during the jogging and stretching portion and, while he was wearing gloves, he is showing no signs of favoring his right thumb.
So the question isn't whether the Patriots have any quarterbacks for Sunday against the Bills, it's whether or not they'll have Garoppolo. Certainly, it's a question that's been on the mind of Bills head coach Rex Ryan who keeps speaking the truth in jest by referencing the uncertainty around the Patriots situation.
After being on the field in limited capacity all week, it's a certainty that Garoppolo dresses for the Bills game. Whether he plays and how effective he might be remains anything but certain.