Breaking news from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Per his sources, the Patriots are placing rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley on the injured reserve due to the condition of his knees.
Easley was coming on strong towards the middle of the season, but his knees just weren't at full strength through the full year. He had been returning from a torn ACL in his final year at college, where he had been regarded as a top 5 prospect. The Patriots were willing to risk the recovery period to take the high talent in the first round.
The rookie played along the defensive line and was crucial while Chandler Jones was out with an injury. Easley played defensive end, defensive tackle, and some nose tackle. He flashed his athleticism, but not his consistency. The team is hoping to avoid another Aaron Dobson situation, where a promising player injured himself and came back too early and extended the recovery period.
The team will expect Easley to be ready to play at 100% next season; It's important to remember that he wasn't drafted for his 2014 impact. That said, the Patriots will likely not see any impact from their first or second round (QB Jimmy Garoppolo) draft picks.
Best of luck to Easley in his recovery.