Linebacker Akeem Ayers is officially a member of the New England Patriots.
The Patriots formally announced that they have acquired Ayers in a trade with the Titans, which means that Ayers passed his physical with the team. That probably wasn’t a foregone conclusion given Ayers’s recent knee troubles, but the Pats didn’t find anything to make them rethink the deal.
Ayers arrives at a moment when the Patriots are a bit shorthanded on defense. They lost Jerod Mayo for the season and Chandler Jones is reportedly going to miss several weeks after injuring his hip against the Jets last Thursday. Ayers, who played only two games for Tennessee, has played on the outside during his career and his arrival could lead to more time inside for Dont’a Hightower.
The Patriots signaled their displeasure with their depth options at linebacker in that game by playing safety Patrick Chung as a linebacker and they released Ja’Gared Davis to make room for Ayers on the roster. The team is also reportedly planning to sign defensive lineman Alan Branch, although nothing’s been made official there.