As the saying goes, the best ability is availability. And Carl Davis had that.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on Tuesday shared a straightforward explanation for why his team signed Davis off the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad last week.
“He’s got some experience, and he was available,” Belichick said in a video conference.
True and true.
Davis has appeared in 32 games (for the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Jaguars) since entering the NFL as a third-round draft pick in 2015. And NFL rules allow teams to sign players off any other club’s practice squad.
At 6-foot-5, 320 pounds, Davis also is the type of big body the Patriots have been lacking since losing Danny Shelton in free agency. Beau Allen was supposed to fill that void, but he suffered an injury early in training camp and has spent the entire season on injured reserve.
The Patriots thus far have relied on practice squad call-ups to buttress their defensive line. Their depth up front took another hit last week when starting D-tackle Byron Cowart was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Practice squadder Nick Thurman played 20 snaps in Cowart’s place during Sunday’s 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Defensive end Deatrich Wise also saw more action inside than usual when Adam Butler temporarily exited the game with an injury.
Davis played in just three games for the Jags last season and was suspended for the first four games of this season for a PED violation. The 28-year-old was unavailable for the Broncos game as he completed his battery of COVID-19 testing but could make his Patriots debut this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.