Report: Patriots Work Out Two Defensive Linemen as They Search for More Depth


Joe Vellano, Chris JonesThe Patriots are in search of depth along the defensive line.

On Monday, they tried out a pair of defensive linemen in hopes of adding some depth to their depleted front line, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. The Patriots worked out former Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Frank Kearse and former Vikings and Buccaneers defensive end George Johnson.

Kearse, who was originally drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the seventh round in 2011 out of Alabama A&M, spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons as a reserve interior lineman with the Panthers. He managed 23 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks during 14 games with the Panthers. He is 6-foot-4 and 320 pounds, and a lot of his snaps with Carolina came at nose tackle.

Johnson, 25, joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted rookie out of Rutgers in 2010. He spent the better part of three seasons with the Bucs, recording seven tackles in nine games, before being released and signing on with the Vikings. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound pass rusher played just two games for the Vikings and made their final roster in 2013, but he was released last week after being inactive for the first four games.

The Patriots have been in need of help along the defensive line since Vince Wilfork suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in Week 4. Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly has also been battling injuries and missed his first game of the season on Sunday. The Patriots now have two undrafted rookies in Joe Vellano and Chris Jones as well as Marcus Forston, who was signed off of the practice squad over the weekend, as their only options at the position.

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