ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The New England Patriots signed offensive guard Billy Yates from the practice squad today. Yates fills the final vacancy on the Patriots' active roster, putting New England at the NFL limit of 53 players in advance of Super Bowl XXXIX.
Yates, 24, has been a member of the Patriots' practice squad since Sept. 11, 2004. The 6-foot-3-inch, 305-pound offensive lineman originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent out of Texas A&M in 2003. He has played in three games in his NFL career. He was inactive for the first 12 games of his rookie season, but was activated and participated in each of the final three regular season games for the Dolphins in 2003. He was a member of the Dolphins during the 2004 preseason and was released in the final preseason roster cutdown on Sept. 5, 2004. Yates is a native of Fort Worth, Texas.