FOXBORO — The Patriots made two significant additions to their practice squad the day before Thanksgiving.
The team signed tight end Xavier Grimble and long snapper Charley Hughlett to the unit. It’s the second appearance on the practice squad this season for Hughlett, who was signed to the New England practice squad on Sept. 1 and released two days later.
Hughlett provides depth behind current long snapper Danny Aiken, who had one bad snap Sunday and was punished by a cheap shot to the back of the head from Detroit’s C.J. Mosley on a late field goal attempt.
To make room for Grimble and Hughlett, the Patriots released linebacker Deontae Skinner and defensive back Daxton Swanson from the practice squad.
Grimble, 22, was originally signed by the New York Giants as a rookie free agent out of USC on May 15, 2014. The 6-foot-4, 261-pounder, was released by the Giants on Aug. 26 and signed to the San Francisco practice squad on Sept. 15. He was released from the 49ers practice squad on Nov. 18. In three seasons as USC, Grimble played in 38 games with 22 starts and caught 69 passes for 731 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Hughlett, 23, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Dallas Cowboys out of Central Florida on April 30, 2012. The 6-foot-4, 251-pounder was released by Dallas on Aug. 27, 2012. He was re-signed by Dallas on Jan. 7, 2013 and released for a second time on May 29, 2013. He was signed by New England on March 19, 2014. After being released by New England in May, Hughlett was signed by Jacksonville on June 19, 2014, before being released on Aug. 25, 2014. Following his release from the New England practice squad, Hughlett spent one week on the Cleveland practice squad.
Skinner, 24, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Mississippi State on May 12, 2014. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder, was released by the Patriots on Aug. 26 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1. He was signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Sept. 13 and played in seven games with one start, accumulating 10 total tackles and three special teams tackles. He was released on Oct. 29 and signed back to the practice squad on Oct. 31.
Swanson, 23, was signed to the Patriots practice squad on Sept 1, 2014 and then released from the practice squad on Sept. 3, 2014 before being re-signed on Sept. 17. He was originally signed by the Patriots as a free agent on May 22, 2014. Swanson entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Indianapolis Colts on April 30, 2013, out of Sam Houston State. The 5-foot-11, 191-pounder was released by the Colts on Oct. 29, 2013 and was signed to the San Francisco 49ers practice squad on Nov. 18, 2013. He was released by San Francisco on May 12, 2014.