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More than a name - The Sun Chronicle : Patriots

More than a name

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Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012 12:21 am

FOXBORO - Some players want their names in headlines. Some don't. And some never earn the privilege.

But then there are the players whose names will never be set in headline type for one simple reason - they don't fit.

Meet Michael Hoomanawanui, the latest member of a still-growing tight end position group for the New England Patriots.

Hoomanawanui (pronounced Huh-oh-mah-NAH-wah-NEW-ee) was most recently with the Washington Redskins' practice squad after being released by the St. Louis Rams, and he was signed by the Patriots on Wednesday, wearing No. 47 on the practice field.

That left the Patriots with five tight ends on the roster until another member of the group, Visanthe Shiancoe, was placed on short-term injured reserve. Shiancoe, whose injury situation has been clouded in secrecy since he was injured early in training camp, will be eligible to be reactivated after the eighth week of the season.

Hoomanawanui, 24, was the Rams' fifth-round draft pick in 2010. The Illinois product has caught 20 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns in two NFL seasons. One of his claims to fame, and a primary reason why he has surfaced in Foxboro, is because Josh McDaniels was his offensive coordinator in St. Louis last year. McDaniels, now the Patriots' OC, has apparently been given carte blanche to bring in former Rams or Broncos that played in his system.

The tight end corps now consists of Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez (although it's fair to suggest that Hernandez is more of a wide receiver now), Daniel Fells and Hoomanawanui.

The Patriots also made two changes to the practice squad, signing wide receiver Kerry Taylor and offensive lineman Jeremiah Warren to the practice squad and releasing fullback Eric Ketttani and wide receiver Sam Kirkland.

Participation report

Six Patriots were listed on the first participation report of the season, and two did not practice. Offensive guard Nick McDonald (shoulder) and running back Shane Vereen (foot) were held out of practice Wednesday.

Tight end Daniel Fells (shin), cornerback Sterling Moore (knee) and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back) were listed in the limited-participation category, and safety Patrick Chung (shoulder) fully participated.

Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (knee), offensive tackle Mike Otto (finger, knee) and defensive end Scott Solomon (knee) did not practice for the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday.

Quick kicks

The Titans have designated Sunday's game (1 p.m.; Ch. 4, 12) as a "Code Blue" game, in which fans are expected to wear light blue to the game at LP Field. A regional insurance company will hand out more than 60,000 blue hats as well LP Field will be sporting a pair of brand-new high-definition video screens in the end zones, measuring 157 feet wide and 54 feet high. The Titans tout the screens as the largest in the world in an outdoor stadium (Cowboys Stadium's 160x72 boards are technically indoors).

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