Update 8/30/2022: Report: Justin Bethel among 3 additional players moved by Patriots
Original reports had defensive tackle Henry Anderson as a cut by the New England Patriots, but a look at the NFL transaction wire on Tuesday night shows that he has not been released. Instead, the veteran defender was sent to season-ending injured reserve: Anderson will therefore end a second straight year on the sidelines.
Original story 8/30/2022: Report: Justin Bethel among 3 additional players cut by Patriots
The New England Patriots have parted ways with three more of their players, including arguably their biggest surprise thus far on Tuesday. As first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates, core special teamer Justin Bethel is part of the latest wave of cuts alongside running back J.J. Taylor and defensive lineman Henry Anderson.
Bethel appeared in a combined 44 regular season and playoff games after joining the team. While receiving only limited playing time at his listed position of cornerback, he served as a core member of New England’s kicking game; in fact, he led the team in special teams tackles since getting picked up by the club in late October 2019.
Taylor, 24, arrived in New England as an undrafted rookie in 2020. While he was able to make the 53-man roster in both of his first two years in the league, he only saw the field sporadically: Taylor has appeared in just 11 of 34 possible games between his rookie and sophomore campaigns, touching the ball 47 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
His release, together with that of rookie running back Kevin Harris, might be seen as a good sign for veteran running back Ty Montgomery. Montgomery had left last week’s preseason finale with an ankle injury.
Anderson, 31, arrived in the NFL as the 93rd overall selection in the 2015 draft. After spending time with the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets, he signed a two-year free agency deal in New England last offseason.
His impact on the Patriots’ defense was rather limited, though. The veteran appeared in the first four of his new team’s games in a rotational role, playing a combined 35 snaps on defense and 28 on special teams. In Week 4 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he suffered a torn pec and was placed on season-ending injured reserve a short time later.
As opposed to Taylor, neither Bethel nor Anderson will have to clear waivers to enter free agency — potentially increasing their chances of a return.