Alan Branch, Jonathan Casillas Practice For Patriots; Akeem Ayers Switches Number

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo BillsFOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots fans hopefully waited a week to order their Akeem Ayers jerseys.

The recently acquired linebacker sported a new number during practice Wednesday in a game of uniform musical chairs. Ayers, who started his career with No. 52, now wears No. 55. That previously belonged to Deontae Skinner, who was cut to make room for defensive tackle Alan Branch.

Jonathan Casillas, acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now wears No. 52, and practice-squad linebacker Darius Fleming switched from No. 58 to No. 44. Practice-squad wide receiver Jonathan Krause, making his first appearance at practice, wore No. 14.

Ayers, Casillas and Branch, who wore No. 97, all participated in Wednesday’s session. Defensive end Chandler Jones was the lone player absent from practice as he continues to recover from a hip injury.

Photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images

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