The Patriots signed Riley Reiff to help stabilize their offensive line. Instead, the veteran wound up appearing in just one game for New England.

Head coach Bill Belichick on Wednesday announced tackle/guard Riley Reiff would not be activated off injured reserve.

Reiff returned to practice Nov. 15, and the Patriots had 21 days to add him to their 53-man roster. With that deadline now passed, the 35-year-old reverted to season-ending IR and will be ineligible to play or practice until 2024.

Reiff’s lone 2023 appearance came in Week 5, when he played 45 snaps at guard in a blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints. This was his second stint on IR, with Belichick saying Reiff never fully recovered from the knee injury he suffered during the preseason.

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“He’s a player who has a lot of flexibility, and there’s a lot to like about him,” Belichick said. “Unfortunately, he just had really three setbacks here. It’s just unfortunate.”

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Offensive tackle was one of the Patriots’ most glaring roster needs last offseason. But rather than bringing in a big-ticket free agent or early-round draft pick, they opted to sign Reiff for one year and $5 million and Calvin Anderson for $7 million over two years.

Neither of those signings panned out. Reiff was moved inside to guard before the end of training camp, then got hurt. Anderson missed all of camp with a serious illness, struggled at right tackle in Weeks 1 and 2, appeared in three more games as a backup and landed on IR in early November.

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The Patriots tried to add last-minute reinforcements with late-summer trades for Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and Vederian Lowe, but Wheatley was placed on IR before playing an offensive snap and Lowe graded out as one of the NFL’s worst right tackles in his five starts.

With current starters Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu both set to hit free agency and no young, developing talent in the pipeline, improving their tackle group again must be a priority for the Patriots this offseason.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images