The team announced on Saturday that they had signed veteran fullback Lousaka Polite and tight end Chase Coffman. In addition to the move to place fullback Bradie Ewing on injured reserve, the team waived/injured tight end Adam Nissley and waived punter Dawson Zimmerman to make room for the players. Alongside Ewing, Nissley suffered an injury during Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
Polite, 30, was originally an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh for the Dallas Cowboys in 2004 has bounced around the league with several teams over the years. He played three seasons with the Cowboys, then had a brief stint with the Chicago Bears (2007) before landing with the Miami Dolphins the following year. Three seasons with the Dolphins, and he was cut last summer. He wound up working out for the Falcons in October following the injury to Ovie Mughelli, but ultimately the Falcons settled on signing Mike Cox. Polite finished the year with the New England Patriots, signing with them prior to the final week of the regular season. The Patriots cut him this past March. For his career, Polite has appeared in 76 games over eight seasons, with 27 starts. He has rushed 95 times for 296 yards (3.1 avg) and 1 touchdown, and caught 41 passes for 233 yards (5.7 avg) and a touchdown.
Coffman, 25, was a highly productive tight end when he came out of Missouri, helping him to become a third round pick with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009. But he struggled transitioning from the Missouri spread system to the pro game, as well as dealt with injuries causing him to only appear in 6 games in two seasons with the Bengals. He spent most of the 2010 and 2011 seasons on that team’s practice squad. Following last year, he was picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was cut this past Monday. His father, Paul, was a Pro Bowl tight end primarily with the Green Bay Packers from 1978-88. For his career, Coffman has 3 catches for 30 yards, which he achieved in 2010.
Coffman’s addition is interesting in the sense that most of the reserve tight ends competing for the No. 3 spot behind Tony Gonzalez and Michael Palmer are known as blockers, while Coffman is primarily known as a pass-catching tight end. Both Polite and Coffman will attempt to beat the odds of players added during the middle of training camp that can make the final roster.