Patriots roster moves Thursday could impact things Sunday vs. Texans

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FOXBORO -- The Patriots made a few roster moves on Thursday.

Riley McCarron was signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad and tight end Stephen Anderson replaced him on the practice squad. Then, the team placed 2018 second-round draft pick (56th overall) cornerback Duke Dawson (hamstring) on injured reserve. He will be eligible to return Week 9, as teams get up to two players who can return off of injured reserve.

McCarron on the active roster gives Tom Brady another familiar face in the passing game and also the team gets someone to return punts. With Cyrus Jones released and Julian Edelman suspended, the team didn't really have anyone to serve in that role, and it would seem McCarron fits the bill.

He returned both kicks and punts in the preseason, but it would seem Cordarrelle Patterson will handle kick returns.

With Dawson on injured reserve, it means seven players drafted in the last two seasons have started the year either on injured reserve or NFI.