BOSTON (AP) – Two days after the New England Patriots picked up a pair of tight ends, both players were injured in practice and reassigned.

As a result, the team signed another tight end, former New York Giant Matt Kranchick, on Friday and assigned him to the practice squad.

Veteran O.J. Santiago, 32, was released outright. Rod Trafford, 28, was placed on the practice squad/injured list. Both players were signed by the team on Wednesday.

“They both ended up getting hurt,” Patriots spokesman Stacey James said. He said he did not know the nature of their injuries.

Kranchick, 27, has played in eight career NFL games. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted the 6-foot-7, 260-pound Penn State product in the sixth round of the 2004 draft. He was with the New York Giants last year, and was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this fall during the final preseason cut.

Santiago was a starter for the Atlanta Falcons from 1997 through 1999 and last played for the Oakland Raiders in 2003. Trafford has played in only four games, all with the Buffalo Bills in 2004.

The tight end position already was in need of shoring up after Ben Watson hurt his knee last weekend against the Dolphins and Daniel Graham injured his ankle.

AP-ES-12-15-06 2118EST


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