Patriots promote rookie Joey Iosefa over Montee Ball


The Patriots have added some aid to the backfield.

New England promoted fullback Joey Iosefa to the active roster Saturday, per the league transaction wire.

With just two running backs -- James White and Brandon Bolden -- on the active roster, the Pats needed to add a body to the backfield. Bill Belichick elected to elevate the rookie fullback over former second-round back Montee Ball, whom the Patriots singed to the practice squad this week.

The Pats waived linebacker Eric Martin with an injury designation in a corresponding move.

Iosefa is a 6-foot, 247-pound between-the-tackles runner -- an aspect of the offense the Patriots lack with LeGarrette Blount out of the season. The rookie was a seventh-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of Hawaii. Iosefa toted the rock 512 times for 2,218 yards with 21 touchdowns in four seasons as a running back at Hawaii. He added 60 catches for 438 yards and three TDs.

During the draft process, NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein described Iosefa as a "one-speed running back with some weight behind his pads, but not enough explosive power to offset his lack of burst and overall athleticism." The Pats hope that one speed is enough to move the chains when needed.