The New England Patriots entered their Week 3 game against the New York Jets with one player having been ruled out on the final injury report: fullback James Develin was unable to participate in practice all week long because of a neck injury, and subsequently declared out. As it now turns out, the game against the Patriots’ division rivals will not be the only one the veteran will miss this season.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Patriots will place Develin on injured reserve. Moving the 31-year-old from their active roster to the reserve list has some major implications both for Develin and New England’s offense as a whole considering how the team uses him: he usually serves as the lead blocker in the running game, works as a part-time tight end and ball carrier, and is a regular member of the Patriots’ special teams units.
Needless to say that losing Develin for at least eight weeks — that is how long he will have to remain on injured reserve before potentially being named as on of the Patriots’ two return players — is a major blow to an offense that already has lost some players to injury: center David Andrews will miss the remainder of the year; left tackle Isaiah Wynn and wide receiver N’Keal Harry are also candidates to return off IR.
With Develin now out for the foreseeable future, recently promoted Jakob Johnson is expected to remain on the 53-man roster and play a bigger role moving forward than the two offensive snaps he saw against the Jets.