The New England Patriots traded up to select two tight ends in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Neither currently is on their 53-man roster.
The Patriots on Tuesday placed Dalton Keene on injured reserve. He joins fellow third-round tight end Devin Asiasi, who landed on IR last week.
New England also removed another 2020 draft pick from their roster Tuesday, waiving sixth-round linebacker Cassh Maluia.
Injuries and roster decisions have limited Keene to just two appearances this season. He missed New England’s first two games with a neck injury, the last two with a knee issue and three more as a healthy scratch.
The versatile Virginia Tech product has been active for just one game, playing 24 offensive snaps and catching one pass for 8 yards in a Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Asiasi will be eligible to return against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 12. Keene must sit out until Week 13, when the Patriots visit the Los Angeles Chargers.
Third-year pro Ryan Izzo currently is the only tight end on the Patriots’ 53-man roster. New England fortified the position Tuesday by signing Dylan Cantrell and David Wells to their practice squad and claiming Jordan Thomas off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals, but Thomas cannot practice or play until he completes his five-day COVID-19 testing process.
Patriots tight ends have caught an NFL-low 10 passes through eight games this season, with Izzo providing nine of them. New England has played each of its last two games with just one active tight end.
Maluia has been active for seven games this season but has played only on special teams. The Wyoming product dressed but did not play in Monday night’s 30-27 win over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.