Originally created 09/16/99

Patriots' injuries force personnel changes



FOXBORO, Mass. -- With the playing status of two starting offensive linemen uncertain, the New England Patriots on Wednesday re-signed guard Damon Denson, a fourth-round draft pick in 1997.

To make room for him on the roster, the Patriots placed wide receiver Sean Morey on the practice squad and released wide receiver Eddie Conti from the practice squad.

Denson was among the players released last week in the Patriots' final cuts to reduce the roster to the NFL maximum of 53.

The team brought him back after right tackle Zefross Moss sprained his left ankle and left guard Heath Irwin strained his right knee in last Sunday's 30-28 victory over the New York Jets.

Both were listed as questionable for Sunday's home opener against Indianapolis, which has an attacking defense that sacked Buffalo quarterback Doug Flutie five times in a 31-14 victory over the Bills last Sunday.

"It's a pretty obvious concern," Patriots coach Pete Carroll said. "I don't know who's going to play (at right tackle and left guard) right now."

The backups are Ed Ellis and Derrick Fletcher at tackle and Max Lane and Todd Rucci at guard. Lane also can play tackle.

Morey, a seventh-round draft pick this year from Brown, was among the inactive players for last Sunday's game. Conti, an undrafted free agent from Delaware, was signed by the Patriots on Sept. 7 after being cut this summer by the Jets and Tampa Bay.