Patriots Place Running Back On COVID List, Designate Kicker To Return

J.J. Taylor has played just once in the last five weeks

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The New England Patriots on Monday placed running back J.J. Taylor on the reserve/COVID-19 list, according to the NFL transaction wire.

Taylor, who has been a healthy inactive for four of the Patriots’ last five games, is the third Patriots player to land on COVID reserve this season. Offensive linemen Isaiah Wynn and Mike Onwenu both missed the team’s Week 5 win over the Houston Texans, after being placed on the list in October.

Tight end Devin Asiasi also was sidelined during training camp after testing positive for the coronavirus.

A total of nine NFL players were placed on the COVID list Monday, including one (Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard) who played against the Patriots on Sunday. All nine tested positive, per the wire.

Taylor, a second-year undrafted free agent out of Arizona, has appeared in five games this season, rushing 19 times for 37 yards and two touchdowns and catching four passes on four targets for eight yards.

In a separate transaction Monday, the Patriots designated undrafted rookie kicker Quinn Nordin to return from injured reserve, clearing him to begin practicing this week.

Nordin, a strong-legged prospect out of Michigan, made the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster but was moved to IR before appearing in a regular-season game. With veteran kicker Nick Folk enjoying a career year at age 36, this likely is a way to get Nordin some reps while lightening Folk’s practice load. Folk has dealt with a nagging knee injury for much of the season.

The Patriots had kicker Riley Patterson on their practice squad earlier this season, but he was signed by the Detroit Lions two weeks ago. Nordin can practice for 21 days before the Patriots would need to add him to their 53-man roster or revert him to season-ending IR.

New England defeated Tennessee 36-13 on Sunday to extend its winning streak to six games. The 8-4 Patriots will visit the 7-4 Buffalo Bills next Monday night in a battle of AFC East heavyweights.

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