The New England Patriots made a series of moves as they start their bye week, per ESPN’s Field Yates. The Patriots activated rookie second-round cornerback Duke Dawson from the injured reserve and released running back Kenjon Barner and linebacker Nicholas Grigsby.
Dawson landed on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury and his return should boost an already-solid cornerbacks depth chart. Dawson will join starters Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, and Jonathan Jones, and compete with fellow rookies J.C. Jackson and Keion Crossen.
Barner has been on-and-off the Patriots roster and it’s possible he could return later in the year. Sony Michel returned from a knee injury last week and Rex Burkhead is scheduled to return from the injured reserve after week 12. Barner simply didn’t have a roster spot anymore.
Grigsby’s release is a bit of a surprise since he ranks fourth on the team in special teams snaps, but the recent addition of veteran LB Albert McClellan apparently made him expendable. The Patriots special teams have been atrocious in 2018, so it seems like the coaching staff is making the necessary moves to improve.
The Patriots will likely make more moves during the bye week to bolster their roster depth.