In 2016, Michael Williams was the first member of the New England Patriots to be placed on injured reserve. The backup tight end tore his ACL during one of the team’s minicamp practices and was moved to the list on June 8.
This year, the first player to join injured reserve was transferred there on June 6: defensive edge Corey Vereen. On Monday, the Patriots waived the undrafted rookie with an injury designation. The 21-year old went unclaimed and will now revert to New England’s injured reserve.
Vereen started 11 of 13 games during his 2016 senior season at Tennessee and finished with seven sacks. While he was a productive defender, Vereen benefitted from playing opposite of first round draft pick Derek Barnett. As a result, he was not selected during this year’s draft and instead joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent.
The chances of him actually making the team were slim to begin with. After all, New England invested considerable resources into upgrading its defensive edge. Vereen’s best chance to stay in Foxboro would therefore have been a spot on the practice squad. However, seeing him placed on injured reserve hurts his chances of that happening in case he and the team reach an injury settlement.
Such a settlement would lead to Vereen’s release off injured reserve and allow him to re-join after the agreed upon time of the settlement plus three weeks. Therefore, we might not have seen the last of the rookie on New England’s roster – at least for now.