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Patriots TE Michael Williams goes unclaimed on waivers; is placed on injured reserve

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The tight end’s 2016 season is officially over.

During last Wednesday’s minicamp practice session, the New England Patriots lost an important member of their 2015 offense: tight end Michael Williams tore his left ACL on a non-contact injury.

On Friday, the team decided to waive the 25-year old, who was primarily used as a blocking tight end last season, in order to place him on the injured reserve list. While there was a chance another team might claim him on waivers, that did not happen, according to Mike Reiss:

Roster note: TE Michael Williams went unclaimed on waivers and reverts to the Patriots' injured reserve list.

Losing Williams for the season hurts the Patriots’ depth at tight end, as he has experience within the team’s offense and has been a solid blocker alongside a shaky offensive line in 2015. His blocking might be the hardest part of his skill-set to replace.

While Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett are all-around tight ends and very good blockers, the depth options behind them – Clay Harbor, A.J. Derby, Bryce Williams and Steven Scheu – are all better receivers. Consequently, fullbacks James Develin and Joey Iosefa might see more time with the tight ends this offseason to help replace what Williams brought to the table last season.