UPDATE (6:40 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots officially announced they have placed wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell on injured reserve, promoted offensive lineman Ted Karras from the practice squad and signed defensive back Jomal Wiltz to the practice squad.
ORIGINAL STORY: Malcolm Mitchell will not play in the New England Patriots’ season opener Thursday night. In fact, we now won’t see him on the field until Week 10 at the earliest.
Hours before New England was set to host the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium, multiple outlets reported the team will place Mitchell on injured reserve, sidelining the wide receiver for at least the first half of the 2017 season. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media was the first to report the move.
Per NFL rules, Mitchell, who was listed as questionable for the opener with a knee injury, must sit out at least eight games. The Patriots have a bye in Week 9. Teams are allowed to return two players from IR per season.
Mitchell played in 14 games as a rookie last season, catching 32 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns. He also played in all three of New England’s playoff games and put on one of the best performances of his career in Super Bowl LI, finishing with six receptions on seven targets for 70 yards in the Patriots’ win over the Atlanta Falcons.
With Mitchell and Julian Edelman (torn ACL) now both on IR, the Patriots will enter the regular season with just four wide receivers: Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and the recently acquired Phillip Dorsett. Matthew Slater also is listed as a receiver but plays almost exclusively on special teams.
To fill Mitchell’s spot on the 53-man roster, the Patriots will promote offensive lineman Ted Karras from the practice squad, according to reports from CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran and ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss. The team also signed defensive back Jomal Wiltz to the practice squad, per Reiss.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images