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Patriots set initial 2022 practice squad

The Patriots had 16 players on their practice field on Wednesday as it appears the initial practice squad is taking shape.

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A day after sawing down their roster to 53 players, the Patriots were back on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium with some other familiar faces back in attendance as the team's initial practice squad has been set.

The practice squad will remain at 16 players this season, with up to 10 players allowed with under two years of playing experience and six players allowed with unlimited experience. This carryover from the COVID protocols is a welcome one as it allows great roster flexibility and new opportunities for veteran players who might otherwise be out of the league.

Here's the rundown on who's who on the initial practice squad.

Offense

Bill Murray - A 2021 practice squad member as a defensive lineman, Murray transitioned to guard and still managed to make his way to the practice squad this year as he provides depth on both sides of the ball.

Kody Russey - A 2022 undrafted rookie, Russey showed solid progress over the summer at center, playing with an edge and earning himself many fans online with his snarly blocks.

James Ferentz - Ferentz is a reliable veteran who has been called to action numerous times over his Patriots tenure. He's started 27 games over the last four seasons with the team and provides valuable interior insurance.

J.J. Taylor - The dynamic back has made his way onto the practice squad for another season, after playing 11 games over his first two years. With Ty Montgomery not spotted at practice, Taylor could find himself elevated to the gameday roster sooner than later to fill a third-down-back need.

Kevin Harris - The rookie sixth-rounder flashed some impressive carries during the final preseason game but also put the ball on the ground twice. Luckily he was able to make it through to the practice squad where the team can continue to develop him and get those ball security issues under control.

Jalen Wydermyer - The big rookie tight end signed with the team just a couple weeks ago but made enough of an impression to stick around on the practice squad.

Matt Sokol - Sokol has been making the practice squad rounds over the last three seasons and once again found a place to stick in New England. He had an underrated training camp and showed some solid hands.

Tre Nixon - Nixon wasn't able to carry over his strong spring into the summer as opportunities became more limited, but the second-year player remains one of the more dynamic athletes on the team and he'll provide some valuable receiver depth.

Lil'Jordan Humphrey - One of the darlings of summer, the Patriots were able to hang on to Humphrey where his big frame can be put to use inside the slot. With just four healthy receivers on the 53-man roster, either Humphrey or Nixon should see game action very soon.

No. 68 - One offensive lineman was unidentifiable in practice and did not appear to be a player who was with the team during camp. We'll update his identity once we get it.

Defense

LaBryan Ray - The undrafted rookie had a splashy summer and the Patriots were fortunate to retain the ascending player who battled injuries throughout his college career. Playing at a position with limited youth and depth, Ray is a nice developmental piece at an important spot along the defensive line.

Jeremiah Pharms - A former USFL player, Pharms was one of the bigger surprises from camp, coming on late to secure a spot with a strong performance against the Raiders that included back-to-back run stuffs.

Harvey Langi - The veteran linebacker provides some extensive NFL experience and special teams savvy. He has 38 career games played with 10 starts.

Cameron McGrone - The second-year linebacker missed his rookie season recovering from a torn ACL and never got a chance to shine this preseason. He'll look to get fully back on track as he continues to practice behind the scenes.

Terrence Mitchell - The veteran cornerback was a starting fixture early in training camp before the team moved in another direction. He is still a fumble-forcer with good NFL experience. With unproven depth at cornerback, Mitchell could be called upon.

Brad Hawkins - An undrafted safety out of Michigan, Hawkins still managed to pick up a spot despite the team keeping five safeties on the 53-man roster.

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