The New England Patriots claimed rookie running back Tyler Gaffney off waivers from the Carolina Panthers, a somewhat surprising move considering that the sixth-round draft pick from Stanford is scheduled to undergo-season ending knee surgery.

Gaffney has a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee.

Gaffney was scheduled to go on injured reserve after being paid a $96,000 signing bonus.

“The bottom line is Tyler’s injury is a season-ender," Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman told the Charlotte Observer. "It’s not a little tear that could be scoped and he’d be back in three weeks. This was a legitimate, season-ending injury. We have Jonathan Stewart, who’s not practicing, and we needed the roster spot. Plain and simple.”

This is similar to when the Patriots claimed injured New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard.

“This is a very competitive business, and people are going to try to improve their team within the rules,” Gettleman said. “And this is within the rules.”

When asked if he's angry about it, Gettleman replied: "It's a business."

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun