FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots have announced today that OL Thomas Welch has been signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. To make room for Welch on the active roster the Patriots have released LB Jeff Tarpinian.
Welch, 6-7, 310 pounds, was originally selected by the Patriots in the seventh round (208th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Vanderbilt. After being released by the Patriots on Sept. 4, 2010 be was signed to the Minnesota practice squad on Sept. 6, 2010. He was signed to the Minnesota 53-man roster on Dec. 14 but was inactive for the final three games of the season. Welch was released by Minnesota on Sept. 3, 2011. He was signed to the Patriots practice squad on Sept. 4, 2011.
Tarpinian, 6-3, 238 pounds, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on July 27, 2011. He began his college career at Iowa as a defensive back before moving to linebacker during the spring of 2007. He was a top special teams player as well as a starter at linebacker during his career and recorded 97 total tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.