FOXBORO, Mass. — With three quarterbacks now on their 53-man roster, the Patriots plan to make use of an NFL rule change.

Head coach Bill Belichick on Friday said New England will use newly signed fifth-year pro Will Grier as its emergency third QB this Sunday against the New York Jets.

The Patriots signed Grier, a 2019 third-round draft pick, off the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad Thursday to fill out their depth chart behind starter Mac Jones and backup Bailey Zappe.

Under a new league rule implemented this offseason, Grier can dress for this weekend’s game at MetLife Stadium without taking up a spot on New England’s gameday roster. But he can only play if Jones and Zappe both leave the game with injuries.

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The Patriots tried out two other reserve QB options before Grier’s arrival, claiming Matt Corral off waivers following roster cutdown day and adding Ian Book to the practice squad after their season opener. Corral was placed on the exempt/left squad list and ultimately released, and Book was cut five days after signing.

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Per NFL rules, because the Patriots signed Grier off another team’s practice squad, he must remain on their 53-man roster for at least three weeks.

“We felt like we needed depth at that position,” Belichick said Friday morning. “(We had) two quarterbacks. Long year.”

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Grier was viewed as a potential Patriots target ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft. The West Virginia product wound up being selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 100th overall pick. New England took Jarrett Stidham 33 picks later.

“We’ve tracked all these guys,” Belichick said when asked whether the team had pre-draft interest in Grier.

Grier played his first two seasons with Carolina, then spent the last two with Dallas. The Cowboys chose to release him last month after trading for Trey Lance, but they allowed him to play in their final preseason game, and he impressed, going 29-for-35 for 305 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

The career backup hasn’t appeared in a regular-season game since 2019, when he completed 53.8% of his passes and threw four interceptions with no touchdowns in two starts for Carolina. His new role could have some upward mobility, however, as a source told the Boston Herald’s Doug Kyed he’ll have a chance to compete with Zappe for the top backup job.

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Grier made his Patriots practice debut Friday, wearing No. 19.

Featured image via Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports Images