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Patriots add Malik Cunningham to roster for Chargers game

The Patriots elevated quarterback/wide receiver Malik Cunningham from the practice squad Saturday in advance of Sunday’s game against the Chargers.

The 25-year-old Cunningham has dressed for one regular season game this year, working at quarterback and wide receiver in an Oct. 15 loss to the Raiders in Las Vegas. (He combined for six snaps in that contest.) He’s spent the bulk of the season on the practice squad.

The Patriots are expected to start Bailey Zappe under center, but with Cunningham taking reps at quarterback this week in practice, he could be part of the conversation there as well.


“They’re practice squad reps but they’re also reps on things that he does,” head coach Bill Belichick explained this week when asked about Cunningham’s practice usage. “So, he’s kind of a unique player.

“Things aren’t so straight-lined with him,” Belichick added. “He’s different than probably every other player that we have on the team. So, he’s handled a little differently.”

Cunningham signed with the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Louisville in May. The 6-foot-1, 198-pounder finished his college career with 9,664 yards passing with 70 touchdown passes, and 3,184 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns.

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Christopher Price can be reached at christopher.price@globe.com. Follow him @cpriceglobe.