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Patriots Placing Cornerback Tarell Brown on the Injured Reserve, Depth a Major Issue

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The Patriots are in a difficult position in their secondary.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Patriots are placing cornerback Tarell Brown on the injured reserve due to his foot injury. This will act as the team's corresponding move for promoting tackle Cameron Fleming from the practice squad.

Brown had been acting as the team's #2 cornerback early in the season, but his injuries have prevented him from playing a consistent role in the defense. Brown has been placed on the injured reserve with a foot injury for the second straight season.

The Patriots now have just four cornerbacks on the roster in Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Justin Coleman, and Rashaan Melvin. While Butler is in his second season as an undrafted free agent, and Ryan is in his third season as a third round draft pick, Coleman is an undrafted rookie and the Patriots just claimed Melvin off of waivers. Free safety Devin McCourty would be the emergency 5th cornerback.

New England can either look to make a trade for a cornerback, or they could bring back veteran cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher or Robert McClain. Fletcher spent the early part of the season on the Patriots roster, but a hamstring injury led to his release. McClain was released during preseason cuts.