The New England Patriots roster will stand at 79 players after fullback James Develin is placed on the injured reserve, per the Herald's Jeff Howe.
Develin suffered a broken leg in the third preseason game, against the Carolina Panthers. Develin met with doctors in order to determine the severity of the injury and it appears that his recovery will be for the longer term.
Bill Belichick has often expressed his fondness and appreciation for the work and attitude that Develin brings to the field and the fullback will certainly be missed.
A graduate of Brown, the 6'3 255-lbs former-defensive end has had a fantastic journey into the NFL. He played Arena Football after graduation and moved on to the now-defunct United Football League before tagging on with the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad at the end of 2010. Develin spent the full 2011 season on the Bengals practice squad.
The Patriots grabbed Develin for the practice squad in 2012 before playing all 16 games on the active roster in 2013 and 2014. Develin caught a touchdown in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.
It is likely that the Patriots will lean on a current tight end to fill the fullback spot- either Michael Hoomanawanui or Scott Chandler- to fill the void left by Develin.
We wish Develin luck on his recovery.