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Patriots Claim LB Marc Megna Off Waivers; Place TE Chris Eitzmann On Injured Reserve; Waive LB Mauga

FOXBORO, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced that they were awarded Fall River native Mark Megna, a linebacker who the Patriots claimed off waivers from the Cincinnati Bengals. Subsequently, the Patriots announced the release of rookie linebacker Maugaula Tuitele and placed Harvard grad Chris Eitzmann on injured reserve due to an injury to his ribs.

Megna, 24, was waived by the Patriots on Aug. 27, 2000. He was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals and played in two games before being waived. The 6-foot-2-inch, 245-pound linebacker was originally drafted by the New York Jets in the sixth round of the 1999 NFL draft (183rd overall). The Richmond product was released on Aug. 31, 1999 and then signed by the Patriots to their practice squad on Sept. 7. He was activated from the practice squad for the final month of the 1999 season, but was listed among the team's inactives prior to each game. He was allocated to the Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europe in the spring and started all 10 games at linebacker.

Tuitele, 22, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Colorado State following the 2000 NFL draft. The 6-foot-2-inch, 255-pound linebacker was waived by the Patriots on Aug. 27, 2000. He was recently re-signed on Nov. 22, replacing linebacker Matt Chatham on the active roster after Chatham was placed on injured reserve.

Eitzmann, 23, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent from Harvard following the 2000 NFL draft. He, along with Megna and Tuitele, was waived by the Patriots on Aug. 27, 2000. The 6-foot-5-inch, 255-pound tight end was re-signed to the practice squad on Sept. 6, prior to being activated to the 53-man roster on Oct. 21. He played in five games, including his first career start at Cleveland, but has yet to gather his first NFL reception. He suffered a rib injury against the Detroit Lions and will now spend the final month of the season on injured reserve.

With today's transactions, the Patriots report 52 players on their active roster and five players on their practice squad.

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