Tennant, a 2010 fifth-round pick of the New Orleans Saints out of Boston College, was claimed off waivers by the Patriots on Sept. 1. Hilliard, a sixth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2008 from Montana, signed with the Vikings in the offseason, but was cut on Aug. 31 when teams reduced rosters to 53 players. Hilliard carried the ball 16 times for 41 yards and a touchdown for the Dolphins last season. He will join Stevan Ridley, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden as the running backs on the Patriots' roster.
The Patriots open their season against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.