The New England Patriots made a shrewd roster move last year when they scooped up Jake Ballard off waivers before the New York Giants could slide the tight end to injured reserve.

The move seems especially wise given the uncertain state of the Patriots' depth chart at tight end. Rob Gronkowski's timetable is unknown with back surgery on the horizon. Aaron Hernandez is recovering from shoulder surgery.

This means the door is open for Ballard, but will he be ready to help the Pats? Ballard has yet to fully participate in a workout, and Patriots.com noted that Ballard "continues to run with a discernible limp."

"I'm not full-go for the whole practice. It's not like they're just throwing me to the wolves," Ballard said. "I'm talking to the trainers and coaches and they tell me what I'm limited to do and what they think I'm going to be able to do and we just gradually improve from there day to day and week to week.