New England Patriots

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons makes a catch over Eric Rowe of the New England Patriots  in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons makes a catch over Eric Rowe of the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Eric Rowe has been shelved after multiple weeks dealing with a groin injury. The Patriots announced on Wednesday that they’ve placed the cornerback on injured reserve, likely ending his season after just four games in the 2018 season.

Rowe is also an unrestricted free agent after the season, so it’s fair to wonder if he’s played his final game in a Patriots uniform. The Patriots originally acquired him in 2016 from the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2018 fourth-round pick.

The 26-year-old cornerback had an up-and-down run in his injury-shortened 2018 season. He had a rough afternoon in Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. After that game, he missed three straight with his groin injury before returning in Weeks 6-7 against the Chiefs and Bears. He sat again in Week 8 against the Bills before ultimately ending up on IR.

If Rowe has indeed played his final game for the Patriots, he should be remembered most for his performance in the Pats’ 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. He covered reasonably well against All-Pro receiver Julio Jones, who was targeted only four times and caught them all for 87 yards but was kept out of the end zone. One of his catches happened to be one of the most dynamic in Super Bowl history, with Rowe all over him in coverage.

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Rowe did allow a touchdown to Alshon Jeffery early in Super Bowl LII against the Eagles, but settled down and played better after that. Hard to fault him too much for what was a team-wide breakdown for a Malcolm Butler-less defense in that game.

For just over $2.75 million over three seasons, that’s a worthwhile price for what Rowe brought in Super Bowl LI alone. If this is the last we see of him in New England, it was most certainly a worthwhile investment.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.

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