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TE Williams & DL Forston released

Five-year veteran tight end D.J. Williams and second-year defensive lineman Marcus Forston have been released by the New England Patriots, the team announced.

Neither were part of the latest ESPN.com Patriots roster projection, as Williams has been sidelined with a lower right leg injury since getting rolled up on Aug. 5 in a joint practice with Washington. The 6-foot-2, 245 pound Williams wasn't expected to play in either of the Patriots' remaining two preseason games because of the injury, so there is always the possibility he could return when fully healthy.

Williams' departure highlights the Patriots' continuing tight end shuffle, as the team has made nine different transactions at the position since Aug. 10. Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, Steve Maneri and undrafted free agent Justin Jones now comprise the team's tight end depth chart, with fullback James Develin also factoring into the mix at times.

Forston, who has spent most of the past two years on the team's practice squad, might have become expendable after the Patriots acquired Jerel Worthy (Packers) and Ben Bass (Cowboys) in trades that bolstered depth up front.