Patriots release DB Phillip Adams

The New England Patriots released cornerback Phillip Adams on Tuesday.

Adams, a seventh-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2010, has had three stints with the Patriots this season, appearing in six games. With injuries, he's worked as slot corner in recent weeks and appeared on a season-high 51 snaps against the Eagles. Overall, Adams has played 180 total defensive snaps while appearing at corner in the last five games (he also played on special teams).

Adams' release could be a positive sign for the health of second-year cornerback Devin McCourty, who has sat out the last two games after injuring his shoulder against the Jets in Week 10.

The Patriots did not announce a corresponding roster move and now have an open spot on the 53-man roster. Personnel director Nick Caserio hinted at a possible move during conference calls Tuesday afternoon, noting at the time, "We’re still kind of sorting through a number of things here today."