New England Patriots

Jun 5, 2019; Foxborough, MA: New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry during mandatory minicamp at the Gillette Stadium practice field. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Jun 5, 2019; Foxborough, MA: N’Keal Harry at the Gillette Stadium practice field. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson,

Wide receiver N’Keal Harry will have a delayed start to his first pro football season, as the Patriots have placed the rookie wideout on the injured reserve with an ankle injury, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Harry’s move to the injured reserve comes just one day after Belichick pulled a classic Jedi Mind Trick and made everybody that that Harry, who has not played since the preseason opener in Detroit, was improving.

“He’s definitely getting better,” Belichick said when asked about Harry. “I mean, all of our injured players are getting better. All of the guys that have been dealing with things are getting better. Where exactly they are – some of them didn’t play in the game on Sunday if they didn’t practice on Friday. We didn’t practice yesterday, so some of these guys we haven’t seen on the field in a couple of days. So we’ll see where they’re at.”

The timing of Harry’s move to the injured reserve is undoubtedly key, though, as this means that Harry, who caught two balls in the preseason for 36 total yards, will be eligible to return midseason should his ankle be 100 percent.

It will also allow Harry, drafted by the Patriots with the No. 32 overall pick in 2019, to better study the New England playbook, and essentially learn from the sidelines. That seems like an invaluable experience for any rookie trying to adjust to the sometimes-overwhelming Patriot scheme.

As for an official return date, this injured reserve designation means that Harry is eligible to return to game action in Week 9.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.