BOSTON (CBS) — As part of the Patriots’ roster reshuffling on Wednesday, the team placed wide receiver N’Keal Harry on injured reserve.
The move was expected, after Harry suffered a shoulder injury in Week 2 of the preseason while trying to catch a deep pass from Mac Jones. The injury was expected to sideline the third-year receiver for four weeks, which made him a prime candidate to make the initial 53-man roster, only to be shifted to IR a day later.
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#Patriots placing WR N’Keal Harry (shoulder) on IR. Should be back in a few weeks.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 1, 2021
That move will become official on Thursday.
By waiting past the 53-man roster deadline, the Patriots can now activate Harry after he misses three games. The new NFL rules allow teams to bring an unlimited number of players back from IR in a season.
If the Patriots had placed Harry on IR prior to the 53-man deadline, it would have ended his season.READ MORE: Arizona Mother Worried Son's Surgery In Boston Will Be Rescheduled Again Due To COVID
Harry has had an eventful summer, after his agent went public with a trade request for the receiver. Both Harry and Bill Belichick have said that they have a good working relationship since that statement was released.
While Harry made some plays on the practice field, his production was limited in his two preseason appearances. He caught one pass for 19 yards against Philadelphia, a week after catching one pass for four yards against Washington.
On Wednesday morning, Belichick said that Harry should be a contributor on the 2021 team.
“I think N’Keal had a good camp. Again, last year was a lot different for all of us, so it’s hard to compare last year to anything. Really just looking at this year. I thought N’Keal had a good camp, and I’m glad we have him,” Belichick said. “I think he’ll make a big contribution to our team. We’ll see how it all goes, and from a time standpoint of when he’ll be able to get back on the field, but I know he’s working hard and is making progress with his rehab. So we’ll just keep monitoring that and see how it goes.”MORE NEWS: How Long Should You Wait To Be Boosted After Getting COVID? Dr. Mallika Marshall Answers Your COVID Questions
In 21 career games, Harry — the 32nd overall pick in 2019 — has 45 receptions for 414 yards and four touchdowns.