The New England Patriots’ victory against the visiting New York Giants on Thursday night can be describe as pyrrhic: while the club improved to 6-0 after defeating their opponent with a final score of 35-14, multiple of the Patriots’ players had to exit the contest because of injury. Among those to leave the game was fullback Jakob Johnson, who hurt his shoulder and was unable to finish the contest.
Now it looks like there is a chance he will not be able to finish the season: as first reported by the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride, New England is expected to place Johnson on injured reserve later today. The 24-year-old, who is in his first year in the NFL after joining the Patriots through the NFL’s International Pathway Program, saw considerable action over the last three games as a stand-in for injured starter James Develin.
Develin, of course, has also been placed on IR earlier this season due to a neck injury that is expected to keep him out for the remainder of the season. Johnson was a solid replacement option, but will now have to sit out at least eight games before a potential return. Of course, there is no guarantee that the Patriots opt to bring him back: starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn and first-round rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry are also on injured reserve, after all.
With the Patriots being able to return only two players, they will have to make a tough decision between Wynn, Harry, Develin and Johnson if all four are healthy enough. Given the current state of the offense, Wynn seems like a safe bet to be reactivated again — with Harry the probable front-runner to join him. Either way, the injury is a tough break for a young player who showed plenty of potential since getting elevated from the practice squad.