One imminent move became official for the New England Patriots on Saturday.
The organization placed rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez on injured reserve ahead of the New Orleans Saints matchup at Gillette Stadium. The No. 17 overall pick is expected to miss the rest of 2023.
Gonzalez, 21, had been formally ruled out on the final injury report along with Pro Bowl outside linebacker Matthew Judon, who currently remains on the active roster following bicep surgery. The starting corner sustained a torn labrum in addition to a dislocated shoulder in last weekend’s 38-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Via Colorado and Oregon, Gonzalez played every defensive snap in September on the way to NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors. His first career sack and interception were recorded along with pass deflections in three straight games.
The Patriots have activated offensive lineman Riley Reiff from injured reserve and elevated defensive lineman Jeremiah Pharms Jr. from the practice squad in corresponding transactions.
Reiff, 34, saw his 21-day return window open on Wednesday after spending the initial four weeks of the regular season on IR. The veteran March arrival worked at right guard in the preseason before suffering a leg injury in August’s finale. Selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, Reiff has tallied 149 starts through 163 appearances. From the bookend spots to the interior, the former Iowa All-American made previous stops with the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals and Chicago Bears.
Pharms, 26, played seven snaps at defensive tackle in his debut as a standard elevation last week prior to reverting. Undrafted by way of Sacramento City College, San Joaquin Delta College and Friends University in 2019, he went from the Champions Indoor Football League’s Wichita Force to the USFL’s Pittsburgh Maulers before entering the NFL ranks in 2022. The well-traveled JUCO and NAIA product remained on New England’s practice squad for the duration of last campaign and signed a futures contract in January.
Defensive end Trey Flowers and defensive back Cody Davis continue to reside on the physically unable to perform list after recently returning to practice.
Sunday’s kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET.