BOSTON (CBS) — The season is likely over for one of the Patriots’ most reliable players.
The team placed fullback James Develin on injured reserve on Monday, after he missed Sunday’s game due to a neck injury.
Develin joins left tackle Isaiah Wynn and rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry on IR. Teams are allowed to only activate two players from IR per season, and Wynn and Harry are expected to be ready to play come midseason.
The 31-year-old Develin joined the Patriots in 2012, playing in 83 regular-season games and 14 playoff games, helping the Patriots to Super Bowl victories in 2014, 2016 and 2018. He made the Pro Bowl in 2017.
— Joe Giza (@JoeGiza) September 23, 2019
Prior to Sunday’s game, the Patriots activated fullback Jakob Johnson to the active roster. Johnson, who joined the Patriots as part of the International Pathway Program, had been on the practice squad. On Monday morning, head coach Bill Belichick spoke glowingly of Johnson’s rise.
“I would say he definitely started out as the 91st person on the roster and had a long, long, long way to go,” Belichick said on a conference call. “Back in the spring, I don’t think anybody ever envisioned him being on the roster at that point, or even being on the practice squad, to tell you the truth. But he continued to get better, and certainly his physicality and his toughness showed up in the preseason games and in the preseason practices against Detroit and Tennessee. And so he steadily worked his way into, call it a back-up fullback role and was activated for the game yesterday. So he’s, I wouldn’t say it was quite a Steve Neal rise, but somewhere in that neighborhood. What he’s done has been remarkable. And in a relatively short period of time, but he works extremely hard. He’s one of the first players here every morning, he studies his note cards. You see him sitting in the dining room just studying note cards, just going over his plays.
“He puts literally every ounce of energy he has into this job and our team, and he’s totally earned everybody’s respect. And for that, you know, he’s a young player, he’s got a long way to go, there’s a lot of room for improvement, but he works very hard at it.”
The Patriots, despite their 3-0 start, rank 21st in the NFL with 91 rushing yards per game and 28th in the NFL with a 3.2-yard average per rush.