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Jun 16, 2021; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive lineman Christian Barmore (51) participates in a drill during the New England Patriots mini camp at the New England Patriots practice complex. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Barmore has been in and out of practice in recent days. There’s now a clearer picture of what kind of injury has been ailing the Patriots’ rookie defensive tackle.

As reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss via Twitter on Wednesday, Barmore is indeed dealing with a “foot/toe issue.” Barmore suffered the injury during the team’s first padded practice last Tuesday, Aug. 3. It’s hard to tell from a reporters’ vantage point whether trainers are working on a player’s foot, toe, ankle, lower leg, etc., so this is a welcome clarification.

Barmore returned the following day after the injury, but has been a non-participant in three practices since then. It’s been an unfortunate roadblock for the second-round pick, who at times has impressed with his pure explosiveness on the defensive interior.

The rookie was an early standout in 1-on-1 drills between offensive and defensive linemen. Most recently, on Monday, he had two close battles against backup guard Alex Redmond. Barmore has the athletic ability to bully blockers when he gets the right leverage on them, but seems to need development with his technique in order to maximize his potential.

It’s unclear whether Barmore will be ready for the Patriots’ preseason opener on Thursday against the Washington Football Team, or how much he’ll play as a rookie at all. But he still has the upside of a high-end disruptor against both the run and the pass.

Staying on the field has become his biggest early challenge.

MORE: Complete Patriots Training Camp Coverage

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.