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Patriots Might Consider Placing Dominique Easley on Injured Reserve

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Could the first round pick's rookie season be over?

Nothing comes easley in the NFL.
Nothing comes easley in the NFL.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the New England Patriots are considering placing defensive lineman Dominique Easley on injured reserve. This move would end his rookie campaign, but put him in a good position to enter his sophomore season fully healthy. The Patriots drafted Easley with the future in mind, and they would therefore play it safe.

Easley, the former Florida standout, was picked by the Patriots with the 29th overall pick in this year's draft and came with questions about his health: he tore his left ACL in 2011 and his right one in 2013. His knee is apparently still bothering him more than a year after surgery (even though, per Mike Loyko, it is structurally fine), which is probably the reason for the potential decision to place him on injured reserve.

The Patriots have played 13 games this year, and Easley was part of 11; missing games against the Buffalo Bills (due to a shoulder injury) and the Detroit Lions. In those 11 games, the rookie recorded 10 tackles, one sack and one interception. However, he saw limited action in his last two games and missed both of this week's practices.

If Howe's sources are correct, and Easley is indeed placed on injured reserve, the Patriots would gain an open roster spot. Possible candidates to fill it would be defensive linemen Casey Walker, Joe Vellano or Jake Bequette, as well as wide receiver Josh Boyce; all players that are currently on the Patriots' practice squad.