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Patriots place Deatrich Wise Jr. on Covid-19 reserve list, activate Josh Uche amid series of moves

The Patriots also elevated three from the practice squad for Week 16.

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The New England Patriots will face the Buffalo Bills without Deatrich Wise Jr.

The fifth-year defensive lineman has been placed on the Covid-19 reserve list in advance of Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET kickoff at Gillette Stadium amid a series of transactions.

Wise, 27, stands with 36 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble through nine starts this season. The Arkansas product’s move to the list follows rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson’s while wide receiver Kendrick Bourne was officially activated on Saturday.

In additional movement, the Patriots have activated linebacker Josh Uche from injured reserve and elevated wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson, defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale and cornerback D’Angelo Ross from the practice squad.

Uche, 23, had been sent to injured reserve in November due to an ankle injury and saw his 21-day return window open two weeks ago. The 2020 second-round pick out of Michigan has recorded 10 tackles and three sacks this season.

Wilkerson, 24, entered the league with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent last year and joined New England’s practice squad as a rookie. The Southeast Missouri State record-setter has twice served as an elevation, playing six snaps on offense and five snaps on special teams. Starting wideout Nelson Agholor was ruled out on Friday due to a concussion.

Ekuale, 27, has logged two sacks through four appearances for the Patriots as a Covid-19 replacement and standard elevation. The 2018 undrafted free agent from Washington State signed to the practice squad at its formation in September after accruing previous campaigns with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns.

Ross, 25, arrived as part of the Patriots’ 2019 undrafted class. The corner by way of Fullerton College and New Mexico spent his rookie season on injured reserve and has since spent the past two seasons on the practice squad. He was elevated for the 2020 finale before going to the inactives list.

Earlier Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the signing of punter Corliss Waitman off the New England practice squad.