Patriots Claim RB Tyler Gaffney Off Waivers Despite Injury

Former Carolina Panthers running back Tyler Gaffney has been claimed off waivers by the Patriots. Nell Redmond / AP photo

Former Stanford and Carolina Panthers running back Tyler Gaffney has been claimed off waivers by the Patriots, just days after suffering a torn left meniscus in practice.

The Panthers, apparently, were trying to sneak Gaffney onto the team’s injured reserve after he was waived Sunday with an injury designation.

Gaffney was a sixth round pick by the Panthers and suffered his injury Friday during the team’s training camp.

“It’s disappointing because the young man’s a solid football player,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera told the Charlotte Observer Saturday. “He’s had a history of being a workhorse, and unfortunately in practice (Friday) he got his knee in a bad position and something popped.”

This harkens back to the Patriots claiming tight end Jake Ballard off waivers from the New York Giants after Ballard was waived with an injury designation in 2012. The Giants were livid by the move, which caused this response from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick when questioned about it.

“If a player’s on waivers, he’s on waivers,” Belichick said. “Ours or anybody else’s. I don’t know what ‘unwrittens’ you’re talking about. Look, anytime you put a player on waivers, you know there’s 31 teams that can take him. We all know that, there’s no secrets about that.”

The Patriots waived linebacker Josh Hull to make room for Gaffney, who carried the ball 330 times for 1,709 yards and 21 touchdowns his senior year of college.


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