Demaryius Thomas was one of the stars of New England’s preseason finale, but he won’t be on the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster.

The Patriots released the veteran wide receiver ahead of Saturday’s roster cutdown deadline, according to reports from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Field Yates.

After tearing his Achilles last December and spending all of training camp on the physically unable to perform list, Thomas impressed in his Patriots preseason debut last Thursday, catching seven passes on eight targets for 87 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the New York Giants.

Thomas might not be gone for long, however.

Since the 31-year-old is a vested veteran, he does not need to clear waivers before signing with another team. That also means the Patriots potentially could re-sign the former Denver Broncos star after finalizing their initial roster.

That seems to be the team’s intention, according to reports from NFL Media’s Mike Giardi and Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald.

One reason for doing this would be to free up a roster spot in order to place another player on injured reserve with the intention of activating him during the season. If a player is placed on IR before final cuts, he is ineligible to return during the season. Players placed on IR after cutdown day can be activated after eight games.

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