Last Thursday, the New England Patriots made their first transaction in a month by waiving guard Chase Farris with a non-football injury designation. At the time of his release, the exact extent of the injury the second-year pro suffered was not reported but it was expected to keep him on the sidelines for a considerable amount of time, otherwise the team would not have moved him.
Yesterday, ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss shared some light on the situation: According to Reiss’ sources, Farris tore his Achilles tendon while preparing for the Patriots’ upcoming training camp. The 24-year old was already scheduled to undergo surgery and as a result is expected to miss the 2017 season.
Due to his release on Thursday, Farris was exposed to the waiver wire but was not picked up. As a result, he was placed on New England’s non-football injury list. The list works similar to the physically unable to perform list – players could theoretically be activated at a later point and if not convert to season-ending reserve – but with two major differences: The reason for being placed there is not football related (i.e. the injury occurred during private workouts) and the player is not entitled to compensation via the collective bargaining agreement.
Despite being on the non-football injury list, the Patriots could still opt to pay Farris. His salary, however, would then count against the team’s cap. Consequently, the team and the player might negotiate a split payment to reduce his financial impact, which would have been $465,000 based on the one-year futures contract Farris signed after the Super Bowl.
Farris joined the Patriots last season after originally signing with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent. Except for a short stint as on the open market in late October, the Ohio State product spent almost the entirety of his first NFL campaign on New England’s practice squad. Following the season, he was signed to the above-mentioned futures deal.
His injury now leaves the Patriots with one open roster spot but simultaneously with only four true interior options behind starters Joe Thuney, David Andrews and Shaq Mason: Ted Karras, who held that role last season, as well as James Ferentz, Jamil Douglas and undrafted rookie Jason King. Tackle Cole Croston, another undrafted rookie, might also be an interior option but it would not be a surprise to see New England fill the vacant 90th roster spot with an interior player.