Patriots: Roster Changes & Notes
Patriots Release Two
The team released defensive back Chidi Iwuoma from the active roster and offensive lineman Brian Barthelmes from the practice squad.
Iwuoma was a part-time player who saw action on special teams. He participated in just three games managing a pair of tackles. The 5-foot-9, 184-pound former Cal Bear was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on October 4, 2006. Before that he was with the Detroit Lions (2001) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (2002-05).
Barthelmes, a rookie reserve offensive lineman, was with the team through training camp in 2006. The Patriots signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent in May. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Former Florida Gator was signed to the Patriots' practice squad on October 25, 2006.
Return for Pass?
The roster moves yesterday open the door for the return of running back Patrick Pass from the PUP list. Teams have 21 days from the end of the sixth week of the season to return a PUP player to practice. Once the player starts to practice, there is a 21-day evaluation period. At the end of that 21 days, the team has to activate the player, release him or keep him on PUP (ending his season).
Pass has been slowed by a hamstring injury he suffered week 8 of the 2005 season against the Buffalo Bills. Pass, pulled up short on a run, clutching his left leg and fell to the ground in agony. He was inactive 4 of the last 9 games in the 2005 season, seeing limited action in the other contests.
Pass did not see action during the team's training camp and has been on the PUP list since the beginning of the 2005 season.
More Monday Night Notes
QB Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes against the Vikings, tying his career high. Brady also threw four touchdown passes against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 22, 2002 and achieved the feat against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 11, 2001. The game against Minnesota marked the first time Brady has thrown for four touchdowns on the road.
Brady threw for 257 yards in the first half, completing 17-of-25 passes. His 257 yards were his highest yardage total for any half in his career. His previous career high for a half was 226 yards, achieved in the second half of a 2005 divisional playoff game at Denver on Jan. 14, 2006.
RB Heath Evans ran for a 35-yard gain in the fourth quarter, recording the longest rush of his career. Prior to that run, the longest rush of Evans' career was a 21-yard jaunt against Miami on Nov. 13, 2005.
FS Rodney Harrison intercepted Minnesota's Brad Johnson on the goal line in the first quarter to stop a Minnesota drive. The interception was Harrison's first of the season and the 32nd of his regular-season career. Since joining the Patriots prior to the 2003 season, Harrison now has recorded six interceptions in the regular-season and six in the playoffs for a grand total of 12 picks. Dating back to the beginning of the 2004 regular season, six of Harrison's last seven interceptions have come inside the opponents' 20-yard line, with five of the seven coming inside the 4-yard line.
The Patriots victory over the Vikings was the sixth consecutive road win, and the seventh win in their last eight away games. The team has enjoyed a 187-71 point differential over the six wins.
Billy Yates made his first career start Monday night. Yates filled in at left guard for the injured Stephen Neal.
Doug Gabriel's 45-yard catch and run against the Vikings was the second longest of his career. He had a 58-yard touchdown reception Sept. 12, 2004 while playing for the Raiders.
Cornerback Chad Scott's interception of Brad Johnson in the second quarter was his first as a Patriot. The pick comes nearly two years since his last one (October 3, 2004) and was the 20th of his 10-year career.
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