The organization announced the placement of Malcolm Butler and Joejuan Williams on injured reserve. As pre-Week 1 additions to the list, both cornerbacks will be sidelined for the rest of 2022.
Butler, 32, returned to the Patriots on a two-year deal in March. The 2014 undrafted tryout out of West Alabama started the preseason opener against the New York Giants. He stayed in for 23 defensive snaps to record one tackle and one fumble recovery. A 2015 Pro Bowler, 2016 second-team All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion, Butler spent last campaign in retirement after three years with the Tennessee Titans and training camp with the Arizona Cardinals.
Williams, 24, has suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The 2019 second-round draft choice from Vanderbilt stands with 44 tackles and eight pass deflections through 36 career games and one start. Facing an uphill climb in a contract year, Williams played 48 defensive snaps last week versus the Giants and was the primary coverage on a touchdown.
In an additional transaction, the Patriots have waived rookie punter Jake Julien.
Julien, 23, landed in Foxborough as part of the 2022 undrafted class. The Eastern Michigan product averaged 44 yards per punt across 221 opportunities during his tenure in the Mid-American Conference. In his preseason debut behind extended incumbent Jake Bailey, Julien had two punts downed inside the opposing 20-yard line and doubled as New England’s holder.
The deadline for NFL clubs to trim from 85 to 80 active players is set for Aug. 23. The 53-man cutdown will follow on Aug. 30 after preseason finales reach the rearview around the league.
Head coach Bill Belichick’s roster hosted Matt Rhule’s Carolina Panthers on Tuesday for the first of two joint practices. The sides will reconvene on Wednesday leading up to Friday’s 7 p.m. ET exhibition at Gillette Stadium.