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Patriots waive WR Chris Harper after muffed punt

DENVER -- New England Patriots rookie receiver Chris Harper, whose muffed punt in the fourth quarter was a critical play in Sunday's 30-24 overtime loss to the Denver Broncos, was waived by the team Monday.

Harper, an undrafted rookie out of Cal, will likely return to the practice squad if he clears waivers.

The Patriots are thin at receiver due to injuries to Julian Edelman (foot) and Danny Amendola (knee), as the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Harper served as the No. 3 option against the Broncos. But the team didn't run a three-receiver set until late in the fourth quarter after tight end Rob Gronkowski was carted off with a knee injury, with Harper totaling only five offensive snaps and then seven on special teams.

On Monday, the club also took a closer look at free agent wide receiver/return specialist Damaris Johnson and running back Terrence Magee.

Johnson has played for the Eagles (2012-13) and Texans (2014). The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Johnson had 31 receptions last year with the Texans, playing in former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien's offense. He has both kickoff and punt return experience.

Magee (5-foot-9, 215 pounds) is an undrafted free agent out of LSU who has spent time with the Baltimore Ravens this season, splitting time between their practice squad and active roster (two games).