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Patriots claim S Dewey McDonald off waivers; Place LB Rufus Johnson on reserve/NFI list

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today that they have claimed S Dewey McDonald off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts. McDonald was released by Indianapolis on Oct. 27, 2015. In addition, the Patriots placed LB Rufus Johnson on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness List.

McDonald, 25, originally joined Indianapolis as a rookie free agent on May 12, 2014 out of California (Pa.) The 6-foot, 220-pounder, began his rookie season on the practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster on Sept. 29, 2014. He played in 12 games mostly on special teams and finished second on the team with 13 special teams tackles. McDonald played in all three postseason games, including the AFC Championship Game against New England. He began the 2015 campaign on the practice squad but was signed to the 53-man roster and saw action vs. New Orleans on Oct. 25 before being released on Oct. 27. 

Johnson, 25, was originally drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the sixth round (183rd overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Tarleton State. The 6-foot-5, 272-pounder, spent his rookie season on the New Orleans practice squad and was released by the Saints prior to the start of the 2014 regular season. Johnson signed a future contract with New England at the end of last season and made the 53-man roster out of training camp. He was inactive for five games this season and appeared in his first NFL game as a reserve in the win at Buffalo (9/20), making one tackle on defense.

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