New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 29: Gunner Olszewski of the New England Patriots runs with the ball during a preseason game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

The Patriots need to open up a spot on their roster to make room for the impending return of left tackle Isaiah Wynn. According to Mike Reiss, they intend to create an opening by placing rookie wide receiver Gunner Olszewski on injured reserve.

Olszewski didn’t play in Week 9 against the Ravens or Sunday at the Eagles after appearing on the injury report for several weeks with a hamstring injury. He functioned mainly as the team’s primary punt returner in the first eight games of the season and also caught two of four targets for 34 yards as a receiver.

The rookie’s season would be over, since the Patriots have used up their two return designations from IR on fellow rookie WR N’Keal Harry and Wynn. Mohamed Sanu has taken over as the punt returner for the time being.

Reiss’ report implies that the move means Wynn will be officially activated from IR this week. He’s eligible to play now that he’s missed the requisite eight games after going on IR with turf toe.

Olszewski’s story was just delightful, going from playing defensive back at Bemidji State to playing receiver and punt returner for the defending Super Bowl champions. It appears that it will come to an unfortunate end.

But at the same time, arguably the most important issue to resolve is the play of the Patriots offensive line. Replacing Marshall Newhouse with Wynn at left tackle could go a long way toward solidifying things up front.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 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