The New England Patriots continued their seemingly never-ending roster shuffling on Thursday, placing rookie cornerback Duke Dawson on injured reserve and signing practice squad wide receiver Riley McCarron to the 53-man roster.
Limited in Wednesday’s practice, and moved to the ‘did not participate’ group following Thursday’s practice, the move to the I.R. comes with Dawson battling a lingering hamstring injury that kept the rookie on the shelf for almost all of August.
A second-round pick this past April, Dawson’s trip to the injured reserve continues what’s been a tough run for the Patriots’ rookies, with 2018 first-rounders Isaiah Wynn done for the season with an Achilles’ injury and Sony Michel missing all of the preseason due to a knee injury. In total, five of New England’s nine draft picks this year have landed on the injured reserve.
Dawson, who played in just one preseason game, is eligible to return in eight weeks.
McCarron, meanwhile, rejoins the Patriots after failing to make the initial 53-man roster out of training camp.
The 5-foot-8 McCarron, who spent the majority of the 2017 season on New England’s practice squad, got some snaps with the first-unit offense late in the first half of the Preseason Week 3 ‘dress rehearsal’ against the Carolina Panthers, and at one point looked like a lock to make the team’s 53-man roster out of camp. McCarron, who totaled five catches for 55 yards in the preseason, also has experience in the punt return game, and gives the Patriots five wideouts entering Sunday’s game.
The Patriots will get their 2018 season underway against the Texans this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.