New England Patriots' Mike Gillislee (35) is tackled by Carolina Panthers' Shaq Green-Thompson (54) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, North Carolina, Aug. 24, 2018 Credit: Mike McCarn | AP

FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts — Veteran running backs Mike Gillislee and Brandon Bolden headed the list of cuts as the New England Patriots got down to the NFL’s 53-player limit.

Gillislee, signed as a restricted free agent before last season, ran for 383 yards and five touchdowns in nine games.

He and Bolden became expendable with the signing of free agent Jeremy Hill, who ran for 1,633 yards and 20 touchdowns with Cincinnati in 2015 and 2016 before an injury last year ended his season after just seven games. He signed with the Patriots as a free agent in March.

Bolden, who has been with the team since 2012, was also released on cutdown day last season but then quickly brought back and played in all 16 games — at running back and on special teams.

Cornerback/kick returner Cyrus Jones, a second-round pick in 2016 who missed all last season, and rookie quarterback Danny Etling were among 26 players released. Four others were placed on injured reserve, including offensive linemen Isaiah Wynn — the team’s first-round pick — and Ulrick John, wide receiver Braxton Berrios and linebacker Christian Sam.

Saturday’s moves cut the roster to 53, but that counts Julian Edelman, suspended for the first four games for PED use, thus leaving one spot open.

Also released were DE Eric Lee, recently signed WR K.J. Maye, DT John Atkins, P Corey Bojorquez, OL Luke Bowanko, OL Cole Croston, RB Kenneth Farrow, OL James Ferentz, LB Marquis Flowers, DL Trent Harris, OL Jason King, LB Harvey Langi, WR Riley McCarron, DB A.J. Moore, FB Henry Poggi, OL Brian Schwenke, OL Matt Tobin, TE Will Tye, DL Vincent Valentine, RB Ralph Webb and CB Jomal Wiltz.

The Patriots, who open their season at home against the Houston Texans next Sunday, had already traded safety Jordan Matthews to the Atlanta Falcons and released five players before the official cutdown day.

Last year, coach Bill Belichick was busy in the hours following trimming his roster, including trading backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts for wide receiver Philip Dorsett.

Among those not cut were Jason McCourty, acquired from Cleveland to join twin brother Devin in New England. Jason McCourty had trouble finding the field as a cornerback but showed versatility by moving to safety for the last two preseason games.

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