The New England Patriots on Friday selected an intriguing and versatile defender to take over Josh Gordon’s vacated spot on the 53-man roster.
One day after Gordon was suspended indefinitely, the Patriots promoted Ufomba Kamalu from the practice squad. They also signed offensive lineman Tony Adams to take Kamalu’s spot on the scout unit.
Kamalu, who played in 13 games for the Houston Texans in 2016 and 2017, is listed as a defensive lineman but has played multiple positions in the front seven, including outside linebacker.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick discussed the 6-foot-6, 300-pound Miami product during a news conference earlier this month.
“I think we’re trying to figure it out, but he’s an interesting player to work with and a good player to work with,” Belichick said Friday. “He works hard, smart. He’s played outside linebacker to defensive end to defensive tackle. So, he hasn’t really done a lot in our defense. It’s been more scout team and so forth, drills.
“But he works hard, he’s smart. He picks things up. He’s … done and is able to do different things for us. We’ll see how it goes. But yeah, he’s an interesting guy. We don’t really have anyone like him from a skill-set standpoint, so I’d say we’re kind of trying to figure it out. But he gets better every day. So, we’ll keep working with him. We’ll see how it goes.”
Kamalu tested well for a player his size ahead of the 2016 NFL Draft, running a 4.88-second 40-yard dash with a 7.32-second 3-cone drill, 31.5-inch vertical leap and 4.58-second short shuttle. The 26-year-old had been on the Patriots’ practice squad since Nov. 5.
The Patriots are preparing to host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Week 16.