Keene joins five other players to be announced as inactive. Wide receiver N’Keal Harry (concussion) and rookie running back J.J. Taylor (illness) were ruled out on the team’s final injury report, while defensive starters Lawrence Guy (shoulder/elbow/knee), Ja’Whaun Bentley (groin) and Stephon Gilmore (knee) were ruled out late on Sunday.
Keene did not travel with the team on Sunday but was initially listed as questionable, as the short distance from Foxborough to New Jersey could have made it possible for him to have made the trip apart from the team.
With fellow rookie Devin Asiasi on injured reserve, the Patriots will most likely be left with Ryan Izzo as their lone tight end for the second straight week, though he is also listed as questionable (hamstring). In an emergency situation they could turn to the practice squad as Rashod Berry, who played tight end in addition to defensive end in college, still has active roster eligibility and the Patriots can still activate one more player off the practice squad for tonight’s game.
When asked earlier this week if Berry could fill a void at tight end given depth concerns, Bill Belichick responded, “definitely”.
This will be Keene’s seventh game on the inactive list, his lone playing time coming in the Patriots 33-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.