BOSTON (CBS) — A young cornerback has rejoined the mix in New England.

Duke Dawson, the 57th overall pick in the 2018 draft, was activated from IR to the Patriots 53-man roster on Tuesday. Dawson saw plenty of action at starting slot corner during training camp, but was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury prior to the start of the regular season.

Now, the rookie out of Florida will compete with Jonathan Jones for the slot corner spot. Jones has had an up-and-down season, so we’ll see if Bill Belichick makes a change during New England’s bye week.

Dawson is the first player to be activated off IR this season. Running back Rex Burkhead is expected to be next, though he isn’t eligible to be activated until Week 13 against the Minnesota Vikings.

To make room for Dawson, the Patriots released running back Kenjon Barner and linebacker/special teamer Nicholas Grigsby on Tuesday. With Barner’s release, New England only has James White and rookie Sony Michel at running back at the moment. Grigsby was a core special team player, but that was a unit that Belichick singled out for having issues with their kickoff coverage.


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