First, the good news for New England Patriots fans: It looks like N'Keal Harry will get the chance to contribute this season.
The rookie wide receiver is on short-term injured reserve with an ankle injury but returned to practice Tuesday.
While Harry isn't eligible to play until Week 9, his attendance means he's officially one of two players the Patriots can designate to return from injured reserve, according to NFL rules.
But therein lies the bad news: The Patriots only can activate one more player from injured reserve this season, assuming that player was on the 53-man roster when he hit the IR.
That means only one player from the following list can return in 2019, while the other three will be ruled out for the season:
-- James Develin, FB
-- Stephen Gostkowski, K
-- Jakob Johnson, FB
-- Isaiah Wynn, T
Who the Patriots choose obviously depends on the health of each player, as they'll want to reinstate someone who's physically able to contribute.
Tom Brady apparently hopes that player is Wynn; the quarterback singled out his Week 1 starting left tackle as a player he'd like to see return in an interview with Westwood One's Jim Gray on Monday night.
Players must spend at least eight weeks on injured reserve before returning to practice and two more weeks before returning to game action. That means Wynn, who went down in the second game of the season, is eligible to start practicing after Week 9 and can return in Week 11 at the earliest.
Develin is on the same timetable as Wynn and is the only other sensible candidate for reactivation if the Patriots decide they need a fullback. Recent tight end signing Eric Tomlinson has blocking experience, though, and could help fill New England's fullback void.
In the kicking game, Mike Nugent already has missed an extra point and a field goal in two weeks with the Patriots. Unless the Patriots are much more confident in Gostkowski, though, Wynn seems like the logical choice to shore up the offensive line.
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