The New England Patriots’ battered 2018 draft class took yet another Thursday.
Three days before their regular-season opener against the Houston Texans, the Patriots placed rookie cornerback Duke Dawson on injured reserve.
In corresponding moves, New England promoted wide receiver Riley McCarron to the 53-man roster and signed tight end Stephen Anderson to take McCarron’s place on the practice squad.
Dawson has been limited with a hamstring injury since early in the preseason. The second-round draft pick played in the Patriots’ first exhibition game but sat out the final three. He was present the start of practice Thursday but exited the field shortly after warmups.
More than half of the Patriots’ nine-man draft class now is on IR, where Dawson is joined by offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn (first round), linebacker Christian Sam (sixth round), wide receiver Braxton Berrios (sixth round) and tight end Ryan Izzo (seventh round).
Rookie running back Sony Michel, a first-round draft pick, also remains limited with a knee injury that kept him out of all four preseason games.
Since Dawson was on the team’s 53-man roster as of Sunday afternoon, he is eligible to return this season after sitting out at least eight games. The Patriots do intend to reactivate Dawson, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
The promotion of McCarron bolsters a Patriots receiving corps that previously consisted of Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Chad Hansen and special teamer Matthew Slater. The 25-year-old Iowa product spent most of last season on New England’s practice squad and has yet to play in his first regular-season game.
McCarron likely will be the Patriots’ punt returner against the Texans and could see snaps as a slot receiver, as well.
Thumbnail photo via Zack Cox/NESN.com
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