Patriots sign former Broncos RB Montee Ball to practice squad

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With top power running back LeGarrette Blount injuring his left hip Sunday night and walking with the aid of crutches on Tuesday, the New England Patriots have moved quickly to build depth by signing Montee Ball to the practice squad, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Ball, who entered the NFL as a second-round draft choice of the Denver Broncos in 2013, already has a locker set up at the Patriots' facility.

He played in all 16 games as a rookie, totaling 120 rushes for 559 yards (4.7 average) and four touchdowns. He added 20 receptions for 145 yards.

In 2014, Ball played in only five games and had 55 rushes for 172 yards and one touchdown, as well as nine catches for 62 yards.

He has been a free agent this season after being released by Denver in early September.

In New England, he joins his former teammate and roommate at Wisconsin, second-year running back James White.

"He's a good player and it's good to have him around," White said Tuesday. "He's a downhill runner and he's going to run hard."

As for Blount, the timetable for his return is unclear.

The Patriots have Blount, White and four-year veteran Brandon Bolden as running backs on their 53-man roster. Ball joins rookie running back Trey Williams on the practice squad.