Patriots release RB Leon Washington, promote CB Justin Green from practice squad
|11.23.13 at 4:47 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots apparently don’t want to be caught short in the secondary against Peyton Manning.
In an effort to increase their depth in light of injuries to Aqib Talib, Steve Gregory and Alfonzo Dennard, the Patriots promotion Justin Green from the practice squad on Saturday. To make room, the team released veteran kick returner Leon Washington.
Saturday’s move was first reported by Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com.
Washington has been dealing with an ankle injury and has played in just two games this season. This is the second time Washington has been released. On Sept. 1, 2013 Patriots waived the 31-year-old veteran during final roster cuts before re-signing him six days later.
Green’s promotion to the 53-man roster is a likely indication that Dennard, who reportedly had a scope on his meniscus last week, will not be available. With Talib dealing with a hip injury, Kyle Arrington nursing a sore groin for much of the season and Gregory possibly coming back from a broken right thumb, Green will likely be activated.
Green is an undrafted rookie out of Illinois and was signed by the Patriots on July 21. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder began his college career at Illinois as a running back before moving to the secondary for his final three seasons. He made 29 starts over his final three seasons, registering 76 total tackles, 13 passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Green was released by the Patriots on Aug. 31 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1
Washington is in his eighth NFL season after spending time with the New York Jets (2006-09) and the Seattle Seahawks (2010-12). The 5-foot-8, 203 pounder originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round (117th pick overall) draft choice by the Jets out of Florida State in 2006. He was traded by the Jets to the Seahawks on April 24, 2010, for a 2010 fifth-round draft choice. Washington was released by Seattle on March 12, 2013.
Washington shares the NFL record with Josh Cribbs with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also tied an NFL record when he returned two kicks for a touchdown in a game against San Diego in 2010. Washington earned Pro Bowl honors in 2008 and 2012 and All-Pro honors in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
Washington has played in 105 NFL games with 14 starts and has registered 474 rushing attempts for 2,214 yards and 16 touchdowns, 146 receptions for 1,127 yards and two touchdowns. He has also returned 168 punts for 1,668 yards and 245 kickoffs for 6,334 yards and eight touchdowns. Washington has played in two games for the Patriots and had one carry for one yard and returned one kick for 19 yards.