FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today that they have placed DL Dominique Easley on injured reserve.
In addition, the Patriots signed RB Montee Ball and WR DeAndre Carter to the practice squad and released WR Austin Hill and DL Kelcy Quarles from the practice squad.
Easley, 23, was suffered a thigh injury in the second half of the Houston game last Sunday. Easley has played in 11 games with one start this year and has totaled 15 total tackles, two sacks and 10 quarterback hits.
Ball, 25, is a veteran of two NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos (2013-14). The 5-10, 215-pounder, originally entered the NFL as a second round draft pick of Denver (58th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin. He appeared in 21 regular-season games with three starts over his two years in Denver, totaling 731 yards and five touchdowns on 175 carries. Ball added 28 carries for 96 yards in three postseason games in 2013. He was released by Denver on Sept. 6, 2015.
Carter, 22, originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a rookie free agent out of Sacramento State on May 8, 2015. The 5-foot-8, 188-pounder, was released by the Ravens on Aug. 31, and joined the Oakland Raiders practice squad on Sept. 16. He was released by the Raiders practice squad on Dec. 1.
Hill, 24, has had two separate stints on the New England practice squad in 2015. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Oakland Raiders on May 5, 2015, out of Arizona. The 6-foot-3, 212-pounder, was released by the Raiders on May 27 and was signed by the New York Jets on July 28. He was released by the Jets on Aug. 30.
Quarles, 22, spent time with New England in 2014 and was signed to the practice squad this season on Dec. 2. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder, was claimed off waivers by the Patriots from the New York Giants on Aug. 31, 2014, released on Sept. 3, 2014, and then signed to the practice squad on Sept. 6. Indianapolis signed him to the 53-man roster from the New England practice squad on Sept. 16 and he rotated between the Colts 53-man roster and practice squad for the rest of the season, seeing action in two games and finishing with two total tackles. Quarles was released by Indianapolis at the end of training camp this past summer and spent one week on Cleveland's practice squad. He was originally signed by the Giants as a rookie free agent out of South Carolina on May 12, 2014.