BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots may have to get a bit creative at tight end when they take on the winless New York Jets on Monday night. Luckily, they have a versatile practice squad player who may be able to lend a hand.
The Patriots will head into their Week 9 matchup against the Jets with a truckload of question marks at tight end, a position that has carried plenty of question marks throughout the season. Ryan Izzo, the only tight end to do anything so far this season, was limited at Thursday’s practice with a hamstring injury. Rookie Dalton Keene was limited as well with a knee injury, while fellow rookie Devin Asiasi is on IR and out of the mix. Even practice squad tight end Jake Burt is on the practice squad IR.
So who is left to play the position on Sunday? Bill Belichick may have no other option than to turn to practice squad tight end/defensive end Rashod Berry, an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State.
Berry was primarily a blocker for the Buckeyes, but he did catch 17 passes for 198 and four touchdowns over his four seasons in Columbus. He’s played mostly at edge rusher since joining the Patriots, and was active for Week 6’s loss to the Denver Broncos. He played 12 snaps that afternoon, four of which came on defense and eight on special teams.
How about some run at tight end this weekend? Belichick said it was something the team was considering during his Friday morning video conference with reporters.
“Yeah, definitely. He played that position for two years at Ohio State. He’s a very willing player, willing to do whatever he is asked to do,” Belichick said of Berry. “At this point, when you have to try to create depth on your roster, those are the types of options you’d want to look at.”
Patriots tight ends have just 10 receptions this season, the fewest in the NFL, so Berry wouldn’t have to do much offensively to fill the void if he’s activated from the practice squad for Monday night’s game.