LONDON — The Patriots have activated both rookie wide receiver Brandon Tate and right tackle Mark LeVoir, adding them to the 53-man active roster and making them eligible for tomorrow’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to a league source.
The news was first reported by Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.
Both players started practicing on Tuesday, the first day they were eligible to began practicing after sitting out the first six weeks of the season on the non-football injury list and physically unable to perform list, respectively.
Tate, a third-round pick, was put on NFI to start the season as he recovered from torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee that he suffered last October during his senior season at the University of North Carolina.
With Julian Edelman out of the London game with a serious forearm injury, Tate’s addition to the roster gives the Patriots a fourth wide receiver/punt and kickoff returner, if he is on the 45-man game day active roster for the game, as expected.
LeVoir was put on PUP with a shoulder injury. He played in all 16 games for the Patriots last season after being claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Rams on Sept. 1, 2008. He made two starts at right tackle in place of an injured Nick Kaczur last season.
LeVoir, if active for tomorrow’s game, would give the Patriots a third offensive tackle behind rookie Sebastian Vollmer and Kaczur. The Patriots are without starting left tackle Matt Light for a second straight game due to a right knee injury.
The activation of Tate and LeVoir, who is in his third NFL season, was telegraphed when the team brought them to London for Friday’s practice at the Brit Oval.
Technically, the Patriots had until Nov. 10 to put the two players on the 53-man active roster, so bringing them to London was a sign the team planned to activate them and, barring the unforeseen, play them against the Buccaneers.