The New England Patriots announced a slew of roster moves on Saturday, two of which involved the club’s second-year tight end duo. As first reported by Field Yates of ESPN, and later confirmed by the team, the team placed Dalton Keene on injured reserve, and activated Devin Asiasi from the Covid-19 list.
Keene, 22, started training camp on the physically unable to perform list before being transitioned to injured reserve on Saturday without having made an appearance at practice. He reportedly underwent a meniscus surgery similar to one that he had while at Virginia Tech, where he made a full recovery. In order to return to the team this season Keene would have to be released with an injury settlement and then re-signed.
The 101st pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, Keene played in just six games for the Patriots a year ago. He started the season with a neck injury before returning in Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers. He was eventually placed on injured reserve with a knee injury before returning in Week 13 and playing out the rest of the season.
Asiasi, 23, was activated off of the Covid-19 list, making him eligible to practice for the first time this training camp. Asiasi tested positive for the Coronavirus despite being vaccinated, which made him eligible to return at any time following a negative test.
Asiasi’s return will bolster an already strong tight end group that boasts the likes of Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, as well as Matt LaCosse, Troy Fumagali — who have both had strong starts to training camp — and David Wells. He will also have some time to develop a rapport with rookie quarterback Mac Jones as well as incumbent starter Cam Newton who threw him his first touchdown in the Patriots’ season finale one year ago.
In addition to those moves, the club placed linebacker Raekwon McMillan on injured reserve and signed linebacker Cassh Maluia.