FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have activated DB Duke Dawson to the 53-man roster. Dawson was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 6, 2018. The Patriots have also released RB Kenjon Barner and LB Nicholas Grigsby.
Dawson, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft (56th overall) out of Florida. The 5-foot-10, 202-pounder played in all 48 games during his college career and posted 82 tackles, six interceptions with three returned for touchdowns and 23 passes defensed. As a senior in 2017, he started in all 11 games and totaled 34 tackles, four interceptions with one returned for a touchdown and nine passes defensed.
Barner, 29, has had three separate stints on the New England 53-man roster this season. The 5-foot-9, 195-pounder was most recently signed on Oct. 8, 2018. Barner saw action in five games and totaled 19 rushing attempts for 71 yards. He was inactive Sept. 16 at Jacksonville and Nov. 11 at Tennessee. Barner was originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round (182nd overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Oregon. He was with the Carolina Panthers through training camp this summer and has also had stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers. He has appeared in 49 regular-season games with one start and totaled 96 rushing attempts for 388 yards with three touchdowns and 21 receptions for 127 yards. He has also returned 30 punts for 259 yards and 22 kickoffs for 498 yards. Barner has appeared in four postseason contests as a reserve and tallied one punt return for 10 yards and five kickoffs for 115 yards.
Grigsby, 26, originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Rams on May 6, 2016 out of Pittsburgh. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder began his rookie season on the Rams practice squad before being added to the 53-man roster in November. He appeared in six games and did not accrue any statistics. Grigsby was released by Los Angeles prior to the start of the 2017 season and joined the Ravens practice squad on Sept. 17, 2017. He was signed by New England to the 53-man roster on Nov. 28, 2017. Grigsby has appeared in 14 regular-season games for the Patriots over the last two seasons and registered four tackles on defense and 11 special teams tackles. Grigsby also played in all three playoff contests last year and made four tackles.