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Report: Duke Dawson and Rex Burkhead are the only two IR players that could return

As of right now, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports that out of every Patriots player on Injured Reserve, only two might be back this year.

New England Patriots v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

You know, if they’re going to reboot every movie out there anyway, we might as well get a good reboot out of it every once in a while. Squish the Fish 2018 is a great reboot!

As of last week, if you were thinking the Patriots had the kind of luck with injuries this year that’d make even the 2015 Pats go “Yikes”, you’d be right - ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted in his Saturday column that New England was tied for the most players on Injured Reserve this year, with 9 players currently on IR. The Seahawks and the Colts also have 9 guys on IR, and it’s worth noting that the 9 players on New England’s list don’t include anyone who got an injury settlement, like Jordan Matthews, who sure seemed fine Sunday afternoon:

You’ll never guess who was in coverage:

(You’ll guess who was in coverage easily)

Side note: please remember that next time the subject of Malcolm and the Super Bowl and preparation comes up.

Back on subject: with the Patriots injuries mounting and the defense getting barbecued by Blake Bortles and Matthew Stafford, and especially with rookie manimal linebacker Ju’Whaun Bentley reportedly rocking a cast on his arm, could New England look forward to some reinforcements around Thanksgiving?

The answer: kind of?

As he’s prone to do, Mike Reiss stuck this little scoop in the same Saturday column referenced earlier:

The Patriots have the option to bring two players back from IR later this season, depending on the recovery for each player, and I’m told that Dawson and Burkhead are the only players who could fall into that category as of now (the timeline for recovery for Bentley and Hill, for example, puts them into the 2019 league year).

Must be a heck of a shoulder/arm injury if Ju’Whaun’s supposedly going to need all the way through the rest of the year to recover.

Burkhead’s value on the rare occasions he can stay on the field is obvious, but Duke Dawson’s potential comeback is particularly intriguing for a couple different reasons. One, the team thought highly enough of him to spend one of their highest picks in the draft on a position where they already had decent depth (insert your Bill Belichick second-round safety joke here), and two, the Patriots rolled out a few new faces on Sunday at defensive back in some dime packages with 6 or 7 DBs.

...which worked out pretty well according to this transcript from our pal at The Phinsider.

Schadenfreude aside, we’ll keep you posted if we hear anything else about either of these guys making a comeback once the snow starts falling.