Why Patriots Have Had Their Eye On Nicholas Grigsby For A While


November 29, 2017

For the second time in as many weeks, the New England Patriots signed a player off another team’s practice squad.

The Patriots on Tuesday snagged linebacker Nicholas Grigsby from the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, a week after signing defensive end Eric Lee off the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad.

Grigsby actually played against the Patriots last season as a rookie while he was a member of the Los Angeles Rams. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick liked what he saw from Grigsby in six games and 130 special teams snaps last season.

“I thought at the end of the year last year for the Rams, he did a good job for them,” Belichick said Wednesday. “Not just in our game but kind of the last third of the season or six games or whatever it was that he did a solid job for them. We saw that when he was released at the beginning of the year this year and talked about him then.”

Grigsby was waived by the Rams on Sept. 3 and was free to sign to an active roster or practice squad until Sept. 19, when the Ravens added him to the practice squad. The Patriots actually worked him out during that span of time.

So, how did a player go from not good enough for the practice squad after a workout to being on the 53-man roster less than three months later?

“It didn’t really work out at that time, and we didn’t really have a roster spot, but anyway, so forth, as time went on we got into a situation last week where we felt like adding him to the roster would benefit the team,” Belichick said. “But we tracked him from college at Pittsburgh to the Rams to here.”

The Patriots got significantly banged up at linebacker and on special teams in their 35-17 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Trevor Reilly and Marquis Flowers, defensive end Trey Flowers and safety/special teams ace Nate Ebner all suffered injuries. Though they play different positions, Grigsby and Ebner are of similar speed and stature, so it’s likely Grigsby will make the majority of his contributions to the Patriots on special teams.

Since the Patriots signed Grigsby off a practice squad, he must stay on their 53-man roster for three weeks, per NFL rules.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

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