This comes as a surprise as Boyce had been inactive for a few weeks. It's likely that Boyce aggravated his ankle further, or his progress just wasn't happening. It seems like a waste that the Patriots could have used his roster spot for the past few weeks, but in reality healing is a finicky practice and having Boyce is a positive play for the team. Best of luck to Boyce's recovery.
On the flip side, this comes as slightly better than anticipated news as it means wide receiver Aaron Dobson isn't done for the year just yet. Dobson reaggravated the stress fracture in his foot, but it seems like the Patriots are taking an optimistic view on his return. Dobson provides the Patriots with size on the outside they otherwise would not have had, and undoubtedly need if they wish to have any sort of success in the post season.