Patriots Place Tight End On Reserve/COVID List; Here’s What That Means

Jordan Thomas did not practice Saturday


December 26, 2020

The New England Patriots on Saturday placed tight end Jordan Thomas on the reserve/COVID-19 list, ruling him out for Monday night’s matchup with the Buffalo Bills

Players can be placed on COVID reserve if they either test positive for the coronavirus or have been in close contact with a person who tested positive.

The Patriots will be allowed to elevate a player from their practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement Monday night if they choose to do so. This would not count as a standard gameday elevation, meaning a player who already has been elevated twice (like Patriots receiver Isaiah Zuber) could be called up again.

Thomas did not practice Saturday. The Patriots claimed the 24-year-old off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals last month, but he’s played just seven offensive snaps for New England and sat out the last three games as a healthy scratch.

With Ryan Izzo on injured reserve, rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene will be the Patriots’ only available tight ends against Buffalo. The third-round draft picks have been the top options since Izzo went down but have combined for two catches this season (both by Keene).

New England also placed defensive tackle Isaiah Mack on the reserve/COVID list Friday, but since Mack is on the practice squad, the team cannot elevate a player to take his spot.

They were able to add a player to fill Mack’s practice squad slot, however, which they did Saturday by signing kicker Roberto Aguayo. Aguayo, a second-round pick in 2016, has not appeared in a regular-season game since his rookie year and has been out of the NFL since September 2018.

Mack and Thomas were the 10th and 11th Patriots players to land on the COVID list this season. Quarterback Cam Newton, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, running back Sony Michel, offensive linemen Shaq Mason and James Ferentz, defensive tackles Byron Cowart and Bill Murray, outside linebacker Derek Rivers and wide receiver Julian Edelman all spent time on the list earlier this season.

Before Thomas, the last players to be placed on COVID reserve while on the Patriots’ 53-man roster were Mason and Rivers on Oct. 17. Edelman and Michel were on IR when they were moved to the COVID list.

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