How Bill Belichick Bungled Sony Michel IR Activation; Why Mistake Hurt Patriots

Bill Belichick's explanation for activating Michel was, well, wrong

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When Sony Michel was activated from injured reserve on Saturday, many thought he would play Sunday against the Houston Texans.

Not so.

Michel was inactive for the New England Patriots’ loss at NRG Stadium. He had been dealing with a quad injury sustained in Week 3, but was designated to return Nov. 5. At that point the clock started ticking on his 21-day window to be activated.

On Wednesday, Belichick said the Patriots had to activate Michel or else they would miss the window. The head coach went on to say Michel wasn’t fully ready to play, which is why he was inactive against Houston.

The problem though, is that Belichick’s timing actually is off.

This isn’t exactly a tiny little slip-up either. The Patriots had to clear roster spots over the weekend, and both offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt and defensive lineman Derek Rivers got put on waivers as a result. Each were scooped up off the wire.

Had the Patriots waited to activate Michel, they wouldn’t have needed to clear a roster spot since Rex Burkhead suffered a season-ending injury against the Texans. Obviously they didn’t know that Burkhead would end up getting hurt, but actually waiting with Michel would’ve allowed them to avoid waiving either Froholdt or Rivers.

Instead, they lost a depth offensive lineman and a pass-rushing defensive lineman, all so Michel could be activated early and not ultimately play against Houston.

Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images

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