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Patriots back-up tight end tears his ACL and will likely be placed on the injured reserve

The back-up tight end's season might already be over.

The New England Patriots are already hurting at the tight end position, but the numbers are dwindling.

#1 tight end Rob Gronkowski has not appeared at practice as the team tries to mitigate his minor maladies. #2 tight end Martellus Bennett suffered a scare when the trainers had to look at his lower leg at Wednesday's practice. #4 tight end Clay Harbor did not appear at Wednesday's practice.

And #3 tight end Michael Williams appears to have suffered a torn ACL and will likely be placed on the injured reserve, per a Boston Globe report. Williams will have to clear waivers.

Williams served as the team's lead blocking tight end in 2015 after the Patriots acquired him from the Detroit Lions for a 2017 7th round draft pick. Williams is a former tight end, turned offensive tackle, turned back to tight end and was a competent blocker on the outside.

The Patriots hope that Bennett can block as well as Williams because Bennett is a more dangerous receiver.

Best of luck to Williams in his recovery.