Patriots sign OL Donald Thomas after Koppen injury

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- The New England Patriots have signed offensive lineman Donald Thomas to bolster a unit that lost center Dan Koppen to an ankle injury.

Koppen is expected to miss an extended period after being hurt late in the first half of Monday night's season-opening 38-24 win at the Miami Dolphins.

Thomas was drafted by Miami in 2008 in the sixth round out of Connecticut and spent two seasons with the Dolphins and one with Detroit. He signed with the Lions last Nov. 23 and was inactive for the last six games. He was released on Sept. 3.

In Wednesday's other moves, the Patriots released offensive lineman Thomas Welch, signed tight end Garrett Mills and linebacker Jeff Tarpinian to the practice squad and released linebacker Aaron Lavarias from the practice squad.