The Patriots brought back a familiar face in linebacker Bobby Carpenter on Wednesday.

Carpenter, who was cut by the team after the preseason, was signed on the same day the Patriots formally cut defensive lineman Terrell McClain.

The Patriots also added tight end Alex Silvestro back to the practice squad and formally announced the release of offensive lineman Thomas Austin from the practice squad.

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Carpenter is expected to add depth to the linebacking unit that saw Dont’a Hightower suffer a hamstring injury in Sunday’s win at Buffalo. Hightower didn’t return after the first-half injury.