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DE Rufus Johnson's season ends due to illness; Patriots claim safety

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- First-year New England Patriots defensive end Rufus Johnson had his season come to an end Wednesday when the team placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list. Johnson has been ruled out of the last two games due to an undisclosed illness.

The move with Johnson was made on the same day the Patriots claimed safety Dewey McDonald on waivers from the Indianapolis Colts. The 25-year-old McDonald, in his second NFL season, has mostly made his mark on special teams.

The 6-foot, 220-pound McDonald, who initially signed with the Colts as undrafted free-agent out of California, Pennsylvania in 2014, played in 12 regular-season games as a rookie, in addition to three playoff games. He had been on the practice squad for most of 2015, but was most recently on the active roster after playing in an Oct. 25 loss to the Saints.

The Colts waived him Tuesday.

As for Johnson, he has played in one game this season (against the Bills, Sept. 20) in a reserve role. The Patriots are deep at defensive end, with Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Trey Flowers and Geneo Grissom on the depth chart, with the 6-foot-5, 272-pound Johnson a promising developmental prospect who had a strong preseason.

In addition to these moves, the Patriots also had a practice squad transaction, signing defensive back Floyd Raven and releasing defensive back Brandon Dixon.