The Patriots will be short at least one player to begin the 2022 NFL season. Defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale has been suspended for the first two games of the year, as first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates. No reason was given for the suspension.
Ekuale joined the Patriots via the practice squad early last season. The 28-year-old ended up being the team’s most elevated player, playing in seven regular season games and the playoff game. During the regular season, he recorded five tackles and two sacks on 99 defensive snaps as a rotational pass rushing defensive tackle.
Given how often he was promoted last year, Ekuale figured to be in the mix for a roster spot heading into the 2022 season. Now, he won’t count against the initial 53-man roster. That could open the door for a bubble player at the position like Byron Cowart or UDFA LaBryan Ray.
However, Ekuale can remain with the team up until the first week of the regular season begins. He’ll have a chance during training camp and in preseason games to prove he deserves a roster spot when he returns from the suspension. Right now, he’s slated to miss games against the Dolphins and Steelers.
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