Patriots release WR Underwood day before Super Bowl kickoff

So close to the Super Bowl, yet so far.

Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood was released by the New England Patriots on Saturday night, less than 24 hours before Super Bowl XLVI -- bad news for him, of course, but a move that increases the likelihood Chad Ochocinco will be active against the New York Giants in Indianapolis.

The Patriots signed defensive end Alex Silvestro from their practice squad to take Underwood's roster spot.

"Silvestro is a defensive end/tackle. They'll utilize him especially on rushing downs in a four-man front over the guard," NFL Network's Michael Lombardi said Saturday on "NFL Total Access." "They played him earlier in the season to see if he had any quickness to be a factor. He was, so I think that's what they're going to do.

"But Chad Ochocinco ... he will play quite a bit, and I think he could have an impact on the game."

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Underwood, who showed up to Indianapolis with the Patriots logo shaved into his trademark high top fade, had three catches in five games this season. He seemed to take his release in stride with a series of Twitter posts.

"This Is Nothing But MOTIVATION....," he tweeted. Followed by this tweet: "I Been Thru A LOT...But There Are Ppl In This World w/ More Serious Problems So I Cant Hang The Head....Thank You Lord #Blessed"

Ochocinco had a career-low 15 catches in his first season with the Patriots and was inactive for the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago. He has never played in the Super Bowl.

New England's other wide receivers are Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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