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Patriots elevate practice squad wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson on eve of Panthers matchup

Related: Patriots vs. Panthers Friday injury report: J.C. Jackson returns, 13 questionable for New England

New England Patriost Practice”n Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

With N‘Keal Harry added to their injury report on Friday, the New England Patriots have decided to bolster the depth at their wide receiver position. As was announced by the team on Saturday, Kristian Wilkerson was elevated from the practice squad for the Week 9 game against the Carolina Panthers.

The standard elevation marks Wilkerson’s first of the 2021 season, after he spent the first eight weeks of the year exclusively on the Patriots’ practice squad. He will automatically revert back following Sunday’s game.

Wilkerson, 24, originally joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Southeast Missouri State in 2020. After starting his pro career with the Tennessee Titans, he arrived in New England later that year via the practice squad. The 6-foot-1, 201-pound wideout spent his entire rookie season on the Patriots’ developmental roster, but did see action in one game: he was elevated for a November matchup with the New York Jets; Wilkerson played two snaps in that game without registering any statistics.

Wilkerson remained in New England after the 2020 season via a reserve/futures contract. He was eventually released on roster cutdown day in late August, but was added back to the practice squad 24 hours later.

Now, he might get a chance to make his season debut.

A lot will depend on the aforementioned N’Keal Harry, who popped up on the Patriots’ injury report on Friday. Officially listed as questionable to play against the Panthers due to a knee issue, Harry will likely be a game-time decision after making the trip to Carolina with his teammates.

Kickoff at Bank of America Stadium is set for 1:00 p.m. ET.