Guard Kline promoted; Francis waived

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Rookie guard Josh Kline was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster, as projected earlier in the day, the Patriots announced on Saturday.

With Kline promoted to the 53-man roster, expect him to dress in Sunday's season-opener against the Buffalo Bills and serve in a backup role and potentially on the field-goal protection unit. That likely pushes rookie center/guard Chris Barker, who was claimed on waivers from the Miami Dolphins last Sunday, to the inactive list.

To make room for Kline, the Patriots waived defensive tackle A.J. Francis, who had been claimed on waivers from the Dolphins last Sunday. Francis is a candidate to return to the practice squad should he clear waivers and have a desire to remain in New England.

This leaves the Patriots with just a three-man rotation in terms of pure defensive tackles, with starters Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly along with undrafted free agent Joe Vellano.

In addition, the Patriots announced the signing of center Braxston Cave to the practice squad. Cave had been claimed on waivers from the Browns last Sunday. After spending five days on the 53-man roster was waived by the Patriots on Thursday.

The team also confirmed the previously reported signing of running back Leon Washington, and reached an injury settlement with defensive ensd Jermaine Cunningham and Justin Francis (meaning they are now off the injured reserve list).