Patriots Notes: Could Pats Use Practice Squad Promotion To Boost Running Back Depth?

FOXBORO, Mass. — Some leftover notes and nuggets from Wednesday’s New England Patriots media availability at Gillette Stadium:

— The Patriots made a change to their practice squad, signing running back Kenneth Farrow and releasing wide receiver Jace Billingsley.

Farrow appeared in 13 games for the San Diego Chargers in 2016 and briefly was on the Patriots’ 90-man roster last month. He played well in New England’s preseason finale, rushing five times for 24 yards and catching three passes for 14 yards against the New York Giants.

There’s a chance Farrow could even be promoted to the active roster before Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars given the beating the Patriots’ running back room has taken of late. Jeremy Hill suffered a season-ending ACL tear Sunday against the Houston Texans, Sony Michel remains limited with the knee injury he suffered Aug. 1 and Rex Burkhead sat out Wednesday’s practice with a concussion.

New England currently has Michel, Burkhead, James White and the newly signed Kenjon Barner on its 53-man roster and Farrow and Ralph Webb on its practice squad.

— Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and defensive end Calais Campbell both held conference calls with New England reporters.

Campbell was asked to relive the fourth quarter of last season’s AFC Championship Game, during which Tom Brady led two late touchdown drives to erase a 10-point deficit and end Jacksonville’s season.

“We have to finish games,” Campbell said. “That’s important, especially against a team like the Patriots who have the best quarterback to ever play the game. It’s never over when you have Tom Brady back there and he has weapons. He’s a special guy so we have to play for 60 minutes and maybe more because it’s never over with him.

“We’ve seen it time and time again. You go back to the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl, I mean, it’s like, wow. Tom Brady can do amazing things so for us, even though – even if we do get a big lead, which would be nice, that’d be awesome — we know it’s never over until there’s zeros on the clock.”

— The Jaguars’ star-studded defense is garnering most of the attention this week — and for good reason — but Marrone had high praise for the Patriots’ D, as well. He was especially complimentary of New England’s front seven, which swarmed Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in Week 1.

“I think that the one thing I’ve always admired is the guys up front,” Marrone said. “I think from Trey Flowers to whether it be (Adrian Clayborn) or whoever’s in there on the end, whoever is playing there, Lawrence Guy — I mean, those guys are just all-day suckers now. They work their butt off. I think Malcom Brown’s probably the most underrated guy. I mean, he’s really done a heck of a job. He was a load for us last year. I think he’s a load again this year. He’s a three-down player, plays really well.”

— Defensive end Trent Harris, offensive lineman James Ferentz, cornerback Keion Crossen, defensive end Geneo Grissom, defensive end Deatrich Wise and cornerback J.C. Jackson earned Practice Player of the Week honors for Week 1.

Crossen was one of the players tasked with imitating Watson in practice.

Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images

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