Miami, Fla. - The Patriots made two roster moves prior to tonight's game against the Miami Dolphins, signing cornerback Omare Lowe and linebacker Eric Alexander from the practice squad to the active roster.
The Patriots had one open roster spot after placing cornerback Tyrone Poole on the injured reserve Saturday. The team also released offensive lineman Marques Sullivan, who was signed as a free agent on Dec. 3.
It was also announced that eight players would be designated as inactive for Monday's game: Cornerback Ty Law; safety Dexter Reid; wide receiver Bethel Johnson; running back Cedric Cobbs; linebacker Matt Chatham; and defensive linemen Marquise Hill and Ethan Kelly. Jim Miller was designated the team's third quarterback.
Law, Reid, Johnson and Chatham did not travel with the team.
The signings by the Patriots should help alleviate questions regarding depth in the defensive secondary and on special teams. Chatham and Reid, who has seen increased action at recent weeks at safety, are core members of the special teams units. Reid, a gunner on the punt team, has 17 special teams tackles. Johnson, who has handled 39 of the team's 45 kick returns this season as the primary kickoff returner, will likely be replaced by running backs Kevin Faulk and Patrick Pass.
Without Law and Poole, second-year player Asante Samuel and rookie Randall Gay are expected to make their second consecutive start together at cornerback. Lowe, along with Earthwind Moreland and Troy Brown, are expected to see snaps as extra defensive backs in passing situations.
For the Dolphins, linebackers Zach Thomas and Eddie Moore will not play tonight. Derrick Pope will start at middle linebacker for Thomas, while Brendon Ayanbadejo makes the start at strongside linebacker for Moore.