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Patriots sign DB Malcolm Williams to take place of Ras-I Dowling

10.27.12 at 6:22 pm ET
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Malcolm Williams (41) - shown here in 2011 preseason - is hoping to make an impact with Patriots. (AP)

Defensive back Malcolm Williams will take the place Ras-I Dowling on the active 53-man roster after being signed off the practice squad on Saturday.

Williams, 24, was originally signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1 after being released following training camp on Aug. 31. The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder was originally drafted by New England in the seventh round (219th overall) out of Texas Christian in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Williams was released by the Patriots at the end of his first training camp before being signed to the practice squad in November. Williams rotated between the practice squad and 53-man roster after being re-signed and played in two regular season games and all three postseason games, including Super Bowl XLVI, mostly on special teams.

Dowling, a second-round pick of the Patriots in 2011, was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Friday with a thigh injury. Dowling has played in just eight regular season games with two starts and 10 total tackles. Dowling played in six games this season, recording seven tackles with one pass defended. Last season, Dowling started the first two games of his career before being placed on injured reserve with a hip injury Oct. 29, 2011.

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