Patriots TE Michael Williams suffers ACL tear, put on waived/injured list

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Michael Williams suffered a torn ACL during Wednesday's minicamp practice, a source confirmed.

On Friday, the Patriots put Williams on the waived/injured list. If he clears waivers, he will revert to the injured reserve list.

Williams sustained the injury during the 7-on-7 portion of practice when he was away from the ball. He went down and grabbed the area near his knee.

Williams has been projected as the team's No. 3 tight end behind Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett, and is known for his powerful blocking. He converted from offensive tackle to tight end after being acquired in a trade with the Detroit Lions last September. He was targeting the 270-pound range for the 2016 season and appeared to be moving well in spring camps while catching the ball consistently.

Last season, Williams played in 15 games with nine starts. He finished with three catches for 26 yards, as his primary role was as a blocker.

His injury could open the door for other tight ends on the roster, a group that includes veteran free-agent signing Clay Harbor, 2015 sixth-round pick A.J. Derby and undrafted rookie free agents Steven Scheu (Vanderbilt) and Bryce Williams (East Carolina).