New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Jul 28, 2021; Foxborough, MA, United States; New England Patriots linebacker Raekwon McMillan (46) during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

After just two OTA practices, the Patriots have already been hit with their first injury of the year. It’s a season-ending one too.

On Thursday, the Patriots announced they’ve placed linebacker Raekwon McMillan on IR. Jeff Howe of The Athletic later reported that McMillan suffered a partially-torn Achilles in practice, which led to the IR placement.

  • By being placed on IR, McMillan is now especially out for the year. Players are only allowed to be activated from IR if they’re added to the list after final roster cuts in late August.

    This is another tough blow for McMillan, who has dealt with injuries constantly since being drafted by the Dolphins in the second round in 2017. A torn ACL cost him his rookie season, and then he tore his ACL in his other knee during his first training camp with the Patriots in 2021.

    Last year, McMillan returned for the Patriots and played in 16 games with one start. While playing 23 percent of the time on defense and 64 percent of the time on special teams, he recorded 35 tackles with five going for a loss. He also had a fumble recovery touchdown in the team’s Week 14 win over the Cardinals. He re-signed with the team this spring on a one-year, $2.2 million deal.

  • McMillan was expected to compete for a roster spot this year, but the Patriots do still have plenty of depth at off-ball linebacker. Ja’Whaun Bentley returns as the starter, with Jahlani Tavai and Mack Wilson likely situational backups. Third-round pick Marte Mapu also is expected to see time at middle linebacker, but is more of a passing-down player than McMillan, who mostly played on early downs. Free agent signee Chris Board projects to play a rotational defensive role as well, and Terez Hall rounds out the depth chart.

    The Patriots quickly filled the spot opened up by placing McMillan on IR. They used it to sign tight end Anthony Firkser, who was most recently with the Falcons.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 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 [email protected].

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