The New England Patriots have two of their top players returning from suspension: quarterback Tom Brady and edge defender Rob Ninkovich. However, before the team can activate them off the roster exemptions list they are currently on, it needs to create a spot on its 53-man roster.
Currently, New England has 52 players on its active roster following Monday’s release of tight end Clay Harbor. Ergo, one way or the other, the Patriots need to find one roster spot. One way of creating this spot is placing a player on injured reserve.
Enter quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
The rookie, who started the Patriots’ last two games, suffered a thumb injury in his first start. While the issue might not be season-ending, New England could opt to place Brissett on injured reserve to create the above-noted roster spot, according to Field Yates:
Source: while nothing is final yet, IR is a possibility for Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett (thumb), who was not at start of team’s practice.
The move would certainly make sense, as it gives New England short-term roster flexibility while simultaneously giving Brissett enough time to heal. Under the new injured reserve rules, the team could opt to bring the rookie quarterback – or any other player on injured reserve – back after a minimum of six weeks.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Patriots opt to go that route but seeing them do so would not be a surprise.