New England Patriots

Dalton Keene running with the football at Patriots Training Camp. Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots.

The Patriots placed tight end Dalton Keene on the COVID-19 reserve list on Monday. Keene was already on season-ending IR, and hasn’t practiced since the spring due to a neck injury.

This is the third time a Patriots player has landed on COVID-19 reserve in the last three weeks. Running back J.J. Taylor and safety Kyle Dugger are both currently on the list and missed last week’s game in Buffalo.

Although Keene’s move changes nothing for the team on the field, Keene can’t return to the team facility until he clears the league’s COVID protocols. That would mean returning two negative PCR tests separated by at least 24 hours if he’s vaccinated, or waiting 10 days if he’s not. In that time he could miss rehab work and meetings.

Keene was drafted by the Patriots in the third round in 2020, 101st overall. He played in six games last year, catching three passes for 16 yards. Neck and knee injuries limited him from further production.

COVID cases are up around the NFL, and have been over the last few weeks. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter there were 37 positives around the league on Monday, and the highest number of player positives in a single day since COVID began. There was also the first known case of the Omicron variant detected in the NFL, with a Washington Football Team staffer testing positive for the new strain per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

MORE: Did the Colts just call out Mac Jones?

Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.