Patriots Notes: Two Players Placed On IR, Opening Spots On 53-Man Roster

The Patriots will need to add depth for Sunday's game

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December 31, 2020

The New England Patriots opened two spots on their 53-man roster Thursday when they placed defensive end Tashawn Bower (neck/concussion) and rookie linebacker Josh Uche (foot) on injured reserve.

The Patriots likely will need to fill those spots by promoting players from their practice squad with various injuries at linebacker and on their offensive line.

— Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (shoulder) returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session.

Cornerback/special teams ace Justin Bethel was newly limited Thursday with a neck injury. Bethel spoke to the media Thursday, indicating the injury is not overly serious.

Here’s the Patriots’ full injury report from their final practice of 2020:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
C David Andrews (calf)
OLB Tashawn Bower (neck)
LB Terez Hall (ankle)
LB Anfernee Jennings (shoulder)
G Shaq Mason (calf)
LB Josh Uche (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
LB Ja?Whaun Bentley (shoulder)
CB Justin Bethel (neck)
DT Adam Butler (shoulder)
OLB Shilique Calhoun (knee)
LS Joe Cardona (ankle)
DT Byron Cowart (back)
OT Jermaine Eluemunor (ankle)
K Nick Folk (back)
DT Lawrence Guy (shoulder)
RB Damien Harris (ankle)
OT Justin Herron (ankle)
CB J.C. Jackson (knee)
WR Donte Moncrief (thigh)
S Devin McCourty (shoulder)
WR Matthew Slater (knee)

— Quarterback Cam Newton won this year’s Ron Hobson Media Good Guy award, which is given to the player who is most helpful, available and accommodating to reporters. Newton had a tough season but was always friendly and quotable, win or lose.

— Patriots safety Adrian Phillips is feeling good despite playing the most regular-season snaps of his NFL career.

?I definitely have some aches and bruises, but I can maneuver certain ways to make sure I am not taking the brunt of the force a lot,” Phillips said. “It?s crazy that I have the most snaps, most production this year and my body actually feels OK. Got to finish strong, hopefully I will finish strong with this last game, but overall I feel pretty good.?

— Left guard Joe Thuney on the possibility that Sunday’s game against the Jets could be his last in a Patriots uniform:

?Mostly I?m just focused on Sunday and the Jets and everything. But yeah, just try and soak it all in. You never know.?

Thuney will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

— Cam Newton will be celebrating New Years with something called a manifesting party.

“So you kind of call your close friends, loved ones, and it?s like Skype and you got to set your intentions on what you?re expecting,” Newton said. “Sage yourself. Sage your environment. Crystals if needed. And just have this euphoric kind of conversation go on with you and loved ones, and people you know best. It kind of puts people in that position to be your accountability partner, too, as the new year approaches. So it can be a new year?s resolution, it can be what your expectations are, it kind of makes you go from that to having a vision board. Yeah, so that?s my plans for tonight and I?m looking forward to it.”

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images
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