The New England Patriots added some extra beef to their defensive front Monday, claiming rookie D-tackle Albert Huggins off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick explained what the team saw in Huggins during his Tuesday morning conference call.
“He’s obviously a young player, rookie player that we evaluated last year in the draft out of Clemson,” Belichick said. “He’s a pretty big kid — 6-3ish, somewhere in that ballpark, over 300 pounds. He had a little bit of playing time for Philadelphia and was with Houston earlier in the year, so we’ve had a couple different looks at him. We only had five defensive linemen on our roster, and he was on waivers, so we’ll take a look at him and see how it goes. I don’t know.”
Huggins, who’s listed at 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, initially signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent this past spring. He began the season on Houston’s practice squad, then was signed away by the Eagles, for whom he played 44 defensive snaps over four games before being waived on Saturday.
In college, the 22-year-old was part of a dominant Clemson defensive line that also featured 2019 first-round draft picks Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell. Huggins finished his four-year collegiate carer with 69 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 7 1/2 sacks and one interception in 34 games.
Lawrence Guy and Danny Shelton have been the Patriots’ top defensive linemen this season, with Adam Butler, Deatrich Wise and Byron Cowart playing in rotational roles. Cowart missed Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans with a head injury.
Huggins took the roster spot previously occupied by kicker Kai Forbath, who was waived Monday after one game with the team. New England will need to release another player or place one on injured reserve to make room on the 53-man roster for Forbath’s as-of-yet-unidentified replacement.
The Patriots will host the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.