The Patriots have promoted running back Tyler Gaffney from the practice squad to the active roster, the club announced today. Because it had already had an empty roster spot, New England did not need to make a corresponding transaction.
Gaffney, 25, was a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft, but various injuries have left him unable to appear in a single game during his career. The Patriots claimed Gaffney off waivers from the Panthers during his rookie season, and stashed him on injured reserve in each of the next two years. After being waived with an injury settlement in September, Gaffney signed on with New England’s practice squad in mid-October.
If he’s active on Sunday against the Bills, Gaffney will serve as a depth option behind LeGarrette Blount, James White, Brandon Bolden, and D.J. Foster, while also likely playing on special teams. Gaffney’s roster spot could be in danger if and when Dion Lewis returns from the PUP list — Lewis returned to practice earlier this week, meaning the Patriots have a three-week window during which they can activate Lewis.
Given that Gaffney went unsigned for more than a month earlier this year, the Patriots likely believe they can pass him through waivers and place him back on the taxi squad if Lewis comes back soon, as Doug Kyed of NESN tweets.
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