Patriots to place WR Malcolm Mitchell on injured reserve

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Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (19) runs the ball as Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) defends during the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The I.R list is becoming quite the who’s who of talented Patriots players. Second-year wide receiver, Malcolm Mitchell, is the newest member of that list after his knee has limited him throughout the offseason. Now, he will spend an extended time rehabbing. At the very least, he will be out for the next eight weeks.

The fourth-round pick from 2016 was blossoming into a huge factor in the Patriots offense. As a rookie, Mitchell’s play steadily got better to the point where he was relied upon to come up with some key grabs throughout the postseason. Including several key catches in the Super Bowl.

It’s a tough blow for the promising young receiver. Mitchell looked like he fit well within the Patriots offense, earning Tom Brady’s trust quickly. Not something so common among rookie wideouts for the Patriots. Now Mitchell will hope the time off helps his knee heal properly and he can come back stronger in the second half to salvage his sophomore campaign.

Malcolm Mitchell 2016 Stats
Year Age G GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G Ctch%
2016 23 14 6 48 32 401 12.5 4 56 2.3 28.6 66.70%

Mitchell’s move to injured reserve brings the Philip Dorsett acquisition into focus. With Mitchell facing a long absence, acquiring Dorsett seems more like a necessity than a luxury. Dorsett doubled Mitchell in receptions with 64 compared to Mitchell’s 32 last season. In addition, he added 528 yards and two touchdowns. Although, despite having played two seasons, Dorsett has one fewer touchdown reception than Mitchell has in his career.

The big question, as it always is with the Patriots new receivers, is how quickly is Dorsett going to be able to get in sync with Tom Brady? Despite being a young player, he will have just a handful of chances to make an impact on the Patriots roster.

The Patriots are now down two of their key wideouts from their Super Bowl run from a year ago. However, unlike in 2015 when Edelman lost significant time, the Patriots a better able to endure through the current injuries. That’s not to say that they are not standing on thin ice already with the opener still hours away.

– Ian Glendon is a National Co-Editor for cover32 and the Managing Editor for cover32/Patriots. He covers the NFL and New England Patriots. Like and follow on and Facebook.

SOURCEStats Courtesy of: Pro Football Reference
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