The New England Patriots took the practice field on Wednesday for their lone session of the bye week. While all eyes were on Mac Jones leading off quarterback drills, their were several noticeable attendance notes as well.
One of those marked the return of offensive lineman Riley Reiff, who landed on injured reserve for the second time this year back in October after appearing in just one game. Signed to help the Patriots right tackle spot over the offseason, Reiff played well at guard during his lone game this season.
Due to the NFL’s 2022 rule, players can be designated to return from IR twice in a season. Teams can only activate eight players off IR per year, though, which both of Reiff’s designations would count towards. So far this season, New England has used three returning Jack Jones, Tyquan Thornton, and Reiff.
New England will now have 21 days to promote Reiff to the active roster or he will be ineligible to play the rest of the season.
Joining Reiff back on the field was cornerback J.C. Jackson, who did not travel with the team to Germany after disciplinary issues in Week 9. Jackson was expected to return during the bye week and the team now has a larger need at cornerback after releasing Jack Jones this week.
Absent from the practice fields was offensive tackle Trent Brown and running back Ty Montgomery. Brown was not a major surprise after missing the past two games due to injuries (ankle/knee) and personnel issues.
Montgomery’s absence was for unknown reasons as he has not appeared on the injury report and finished last week’s game. It may be noteworthy his absence comes a day after the Patriots claimed running back JaMycal Hasty. The 27-year-old made his Patriots debut in No. 39 on Wednesday and boasts a similar skillset as Montgomery as a back with returner experience.
New England will be off for the rest of the bye week before returning to work on Monday as preparation for the New York Giants picks up.