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Cuts don't run all that deep

Seven players go on injured lists

The Patriots reduced their roster to 65 yesterday, reaching the league limit, but they did it by cutting only one man, wide receiver Kerry Watkins. Seven other players were placed on injured lists. The major player listed was right tackle Kenyatta Jones, who underwent double knee surgery in the offseason and has not yet practiced. Jones was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list, which means he will miss at least the first six games of the season. After the sixth game, Jones can begin practicing with the team, and he can be activated up to three weeks after he's taken off the PUP list.

At that time, the Patriots can determine whether Jones rejoins the team or is placed on injured reserve and lost for the season.

This could be a break for Adrian Klemm, who appears to be in line to be the starting right tackle. Joining Jones on the unable-to-perform list is receiver Chas Gessner (hamstring), rookie linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (knee), and offensive lineman Stephen Neal, who underwent shoulder surgery before camp.

The Patriots also placed center Bill Conaty and quarterback Kliff Kingsbury on injured reserve, losing them for the season. Rookie free agent offensive lineman Gene Mruczkowski was placed on the reserve/non-football injured list, making him eligible to return after Week 6.

Kingsbury missed last Friday's game in Philadelphia with a sore shoulder. Test results were not available yesterday, but whatever showed up in the X-rays was significant enough to warrant losing Kingsbury for the season, which leaves the Patriots with three quarterbacks.

Conaty was injured in the final stages of the win over the Eagles. According to Conaty, he pulled a hamstring but will be able to play this season for another team.

"The injury will keep me out for a few weeks," he said, "and as soon as I can reach an injury settlement I'll be thinking about playing somewhere again."

Conaty, who was already back home in New Jersey yesterday, believes the injured reserve designation was only a formality because he probably would have been cut regardless.

"I thought I gave it the best I could," said Conaty. "I thought I did what they expected me to do. I played guard and center. I thought I played all right, but maybe it wasn't enough for them. They're the ones who have to make those decisions."

Conaty's place could be taken by former Harvard offensive lineman Jamil Soriano, who was acquired from the Bears for an undisclosed 2005 draft pick. Soriano, who played right tackle in college, was a player the Patriots tried to sign as a rookie free agent after the draft, but he hooked on with the Packers instead. He was cut by Green Bay July 29 and then signed with the Bears, who also couldn't find a spot for him. Soriano would have to show a great deal to beat out veterans such as Corbin Lacina.

The Patriots continue to have roster exemptions for the five players who participated in NFL Europe: defensive back Dyshod Carter, offensive lineman Brad Harris, fullback Michael Malan, running back Frank Moreau, and tight end Rod Trafford.

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