By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots made a series of roster moves on Saturday ahead of their Week 3 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders.
As first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates, the team is placing center David Andrews (hand) and linebacker Josh Uche on injured reserve.
Andrews injured his thumb during last week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He was seen at practice this week with heavy wrap on his right hand and did not participate. He was officially ruled out for the game yesterday.
Uche’s foot injury has now cost him the first six games of his rookie year. The linebacker was a second-round pick by the Patriots back in April.
With this year’s new three-game IR rule, the two will miss games against the Raiders, Chiefs, and Broncos. They will be eligible to return during the Patriots bye week in mid-October.
The Patriots used one of those open roster spots to elevate center James Ferentz from the practice squad. Ferentz has been with the team since 2017, and started two games last year when Ted Karras got hurt. He is a strong candidate to fill in for Andrews on Sunday.
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots also elevated defensive tackle Nick Thurman and wide receiver/return specialist Isaiah Zuber from the practice squad. With this year’s temporary elevation/55-man roster rules, it’s likely these promotions are temporary.
Thurman spent all of 2019 on the Patriots practice squad. He was added to the main roster for last week’s game against Seattle, meaning next time New England wants to recall him he will have to pass through waivers.
Zuber is an undrafted free agent from Mississippi State. A strong kick returner, it’s possible the Patriots chose him over Devin Ross due to the Raiders’ weak kickoff coverage unit (28.8 yards per return, 8th-worst in the NFL in 2020).
Expect more movement in the coming days with wide receiver Gunner Olszewski, running back Damien Harris, and defensive tackle Beau Allen eligible to return from IR starting on Monday.
For more on the Patriots-Raiders matchup, check out the Patriots Preview Podcast with Matt Dolloff and Alex Barth below.