The rose-tinted glasses Patriots fans found themselves donning when Jeff Demps was signed as an undrafted free agent just two weeks ago were torn off quicker than a silver medal sprint when he was suddenly and surprisingly placed on injured reserve. Plans to add a dynamic presence to the kick return game and some blazing speed to the backfield will have to be put on hold ... at least for now.
The Patriots did not indicate whether or not they would slap the brand new IR rule on Demps and make him eligible for a possible midseason return. The new rule specifies that a team may designate an injured player to rejoin the team in week six and return to game action in week eight, as opposed to losing eligibility to play all season long like in previous years.
The rule—however loose the wording may be—does state that a player has to survive through Friday's cuts and be designated after Sept. 4. The way it reads right now, it appears Demps might not be eligible for the new-and-improved injured reserve, but Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston did point out the ambiguity could lend itself to teams being granted an exemption for the 2012 season.
Either way, it's a blow to the Patriots who almost certainly saw some type of significant role for Demps to carve himself this season.