The New England Patriots are making a move at the receiver position.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Patriots are putting first-round rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry on Injured Reserve. Harry, who dealt with various injuries during the preseason, will have an opportunity to return later in the season.
Patriots are placing rookie first-round pick N'Kea Harry on injured reserve, per source. Harry has battled an ankle injury during the summer. He is expected to return this season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 2, 2019
In order to earn the right to be designated to return from IR, a player must make the team's initial 53-man roster. That explains why Harry wasn't placed on the injury list until now, as it will at least give him a shot at coming back if he can get healthy.
Harry's placement on IR also opened up another roster spot. And as expected, the spot will go to veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas.
Patriots now are re-signing WR Demaryius Thomas to a one-year deal, per source. Thomas was released with the idea of returning.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 2, 2019
Thomas signed with the team during the offseason and after being activated from the PUP list, he scored twice in the final preseason game. Many expected him to make the final roster, but he was cut. However, Thomas' release was procedural, as the team always intended on bringing him back. So, Thomas was only off the roster for a couple of days.
This was a necessary move for the Patriots. Harry was barely able to play during the preseason and placing him on IR will give him a couple of months to deal with these nagging injuries. Meanwhile, Thomas will give them a veteran option to serve as the No. 3 receiver while Harry is out of commission.
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