FOXBORO, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed first year offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer (pronounced: RUE-guh-mer) today, after placing rookie wide receiver Dane Looker on injured reserve with a leg injury. In addition, the Patriots re-signed Tony Gaiter, who returned to the team's practice squad.
Ruegamer, 24, was signed by the Patriots off the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad. He was originally drafted in the third round (72nd overall) of the 1999 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins. The 6-foot-5-inch, 310-pound center/guard from Arizona State was active for just one game as a rookie, Oct. 24, 1999 at Philadelphia, but he did not play in the game. He competed throughout training camp with the Dolphins this season, but was released prior to the start of the season. On Aug. 29, he was signed to the Steelers practice squad.
Looker, 24, was acquired by the Patriots from the St. Louis Rams in exchange for an undisclosed draft choice on Aug. 7. He made the final roster, but has been listed among the Patriots inactives prior to each game this season. The 6-foot, 193-pound receiver originally signed with the Rams as a rookie free agent on April 17, following the 2000 NFL draft. Looker started 13 of 21 games and caught 84 passes for 949 yards and five touchdowns in two seasons at Washington after transferring from Western Washington.
Gaiter, 25, returns to the Patriots practice squad after being released earlier in the week. He was originally drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 1997 NFL draft (192nd overall) from Miami (Fla.). He spent 13 weeks of his rookie season on the practice squad before being activated for the final four games of the season. He was released following training camp on Aug. 25, 1998. He finished the 1998 season as a member of the San Diego Chargers, but was released in 1999. He returned to the Patriots in May of 2000, but was released during training camp. He was re-signed to the team's practice squad at the beginning of the month but later release on Nov. 14.