New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick already said wide receiver Isaiah Ford, who was acquired in a trade Tuesday, won’t be available until next week.
That’s because Ford will have to go through a quarantining and testing period before he’s allowed around his new Patriots teammates. So, Ford won’t play against the New York Jets on Monday night.
But Jets head coach Adam Gase knows Ford well from their time together with the Miami Dolphins. Gase actually drafted Ford in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft as head coach of the Dolphins.
“He?s a very competitive kid, really good route runner,” Gase said Thursday on a conference call with New England media. “Has flexibility to play both inside and outside, extremely smart. I think that?s a good player for them to get. He competes.
“I always loved being around him. The couple years we were together, things were going good for him. He had a couple injuries early in his career. The last couple years he?s stayed healthy, for the most part. Was able to get some more playing time. It?s good to see him having some success down there. New opportunity for him. I?m sure they will use him however they think best and he?ll be productive.”
Ford spent his first season in Miami on injured reserve. The majority of Ford’s 2018 season came on the practice squad, and he didn’t catch any passes in one game.
Ford did haul in 41 passes for 428 yards in 15 games over the last two seasons. That included a seven-catch, 54-yard performance against the Patriots last season.
“Tough guy, played in the slot a little bit last year and when we played him a little bit this year,” Patriots safety Devin McCourty said Thursday. “Seems like a versatile guy that they’ve used in different situations. I would imagine he’s a guy that probably can play all the different receiver positions because he has played outside when we played them.
“Don’t know a ton about him, he was a younger guy. So we’ve only faced him the last couple of times we’ve played them. So, excited to get any new guy in here and hopefully we can get him up to speed and he can help the team.”
Ford wore No. 84 with the Dolphins. Patriots practice squad wide receiver Mason Kinsey changed his number from 84 to 81 on Thursday. So, Ford’s old number opened back up for him on his new team.