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Patriots lose defensive tackle A.J. Francis to Dolphins

11.26.13 at 4:00 pm ET

The Patriots lost practice squad defensive tackle A.J. Francis on Tuesday, as the Dolphins signed him to their 53-man roster.

Francis, who started the year with Miami before the Patriots claimed Francis to their active roster in September (before releasing him and slipping him through to the practice squad), returns to the Dolphins having never played a game with New England. The 6-foot, 316-pounder was a four-year letterman at Maryland and recorded 149 total tackles, 9½ sacks and three blocked kicks.

Francis’ farewell — combined with the news that the Patriots are set to sign tight end D.J. Williams — could force the Patriots to do some roster shuffling. Williams could be ticketed for Francis’ old spot on the practice squad, but he could also join the active roster as insurance in case Michael Hoomanawanui’s knee is worse than initially anticipated. If that’s the case, New England would have to release someone off the 53-man roster to make room for Williams.

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