Neither of the New England Patriots third round rookies will contribute this year. While EDGE Derek Rivers is out with a torn ACL, NESN’s Doug Kyed reports that OT Tony Garcia is “out for the season” on the non-football injury list.
“Reached out on status of Patriots NFI rookies,” Kyed tweeted. “I'm told Antonio Garcia/Keionta Davis out for season. Andrew Jelks can return via PUP rules. Garcia is on non-football illness. Davis and Jelks are on non-football injury. Garcia participated in camp before being placed on NFI. Unclear on why Davis can't return, since he never participated in camp. Possibly because he was signed during camp, not before.”
Tony Garcia is out with an unknown nonfootball injury, while Davis is on the nonfootball injury list because he suffered his neck injury prior to the draft. Since Garcia participated in the Patriots camp prior to being placed on the NFI list, he is unable to return. It’s possible that Davis is unable to return because the Patriots signed him after the draft regardless of injury status.
Jelks can return because he signed with the Patriots and never practiced.
Kyed also notes that Garcia has been in the locker room every day to learn from his teammates. His absence because of a nonfootball injury should mean that he does not accrue a credit year in the NFL, which could make him a restricted free agent at the end of his rookie contract. Hopefully he’ll be able to return as a strong contributor in 2018.