Two new defensive linemen were spotted at New England Patriots practice Tuesday. One of those players reportedly has been identified.
The Patriots signed veteran free-agent defensive tackle Ricky Jean François, the team announced Tuesday. Francois was released by the Green Bay Packers last week.
The 30-year-old defensive lineman was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of LSU. He’s played with the San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins and Packers.
He has 155 combined tackles in nine NFL seasons with 12 sacks, 10 batted passes and one forced fumble. He recorded two tackles in six games with the Packers this season.
The Patriots were shallow at defensive tackle with starter Malcom Brown nursing an ankle injury that kept him out of practice Tuesday. It seems likely the Patriots will place linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who has a season-ending pectoral injury, on injured reserve to make room for Jean-Francois.
Jean-Francois joins Brown, Alan Branch and Lawrence Guy on the Patriots’ defensive tackle depth chart. They also have Vincent Valentine on injured reserve. The Patriots also have defensive linemen Adam Butler, Deatrich Wise Jr., Trey Flowers, Cassius Marsh and Geneo Grissom on their 53-man roster.
A fun fact about Jean-Francois: He owns 30 Dunkin Donuts franchises, so he’ll fit in with New Englanders just fine.
Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images