Patriots Sign Defensive End, Cut Cornerback After First Preseason Game

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The New England Patriots on Friday shored up their lean group of edge rushers, signing undrafted rookie defensive end Keionta Davis one day after their preseason opener.

Davis was a collegiate star at Tennessee-Chattanooga, racking up 31 sacks over his four seasons and earning two FCS All-America selections.

Listed at 6-foot-3, 271 pounds, Davis was projected as a mid- to late-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft but went undrafted after doctors at the NFL Scouting Combine discovered a bulging disk in his neck. The Patriots were the first NFL team to sign him.

“A lot of teams wanted me to come to mini-camp, but the only thing I can do is rest,” Davis told the Times Free Press in May. “There’s no rehab. I just have to let my body heal.”

Davis’ signing came after rookie defensive end Deatrich Wise left Thursday’s 31-24 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Patriots already were light at the position following Rob Ninkovich’s retirement last month.

To make room for Davis on the 90-man roster, New England released rookie cornerback Dwayne Thomas, who played four special teams snaps Thursday night and did not see the field on defense.

Thumbnail photo via Jim Brown/USA TODAY Sports Images

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