Ahead of their season opener, the New England Patriots’ receiving corps received another batch of bad news.
The team placed second-year wideout Malcolm Mitchell on injured reserve Thursday. It comes less than two weeks after they lost Julian Edelman for the season after he tore his ACL in the Pats’ third preseason game on August 25th.
Source: The #Patriots are placing WR Malcolm Mitchell on Injured Reserve.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 7, 2017
New England Patriots Place Wide Receiver Malcolm Mitchell on Injured Reserve
Mitchell’s season is not a complete loss, though. New England is putting him on short-term injured reserve which will keep him out of action for the first eight weeks of the season. However, the Pats have a bye in Week 9, so barring another setback, his first appearance won’t come until November 12th against the Denver Broncos.
The 24-year-old pass catcher injured his knee during the spring and didn’t appear in any of New England’s off-season training activities. He also saw limited action during training camp and preseason. His only action came in the Pats second preseason game where he caught just two passes for 13 yards.
A fourth round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Mitchell made a fairly immediate impact last year. He finished with four touchdown receptions which tied Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola for third on the team during the regular season. The Georgia product also stepped up big time in Super Bowl LI.
Mitchell caught six passes for 70 yards in the Patriots historic victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Though he didn’t catch a touchdown pass, five of his receptions came in the second half during New England’s comeback bid. It included a crucial conversion on third and 11 that set the Pats up inside the Falcons red zone on the drive which eventually made it 28-20.
Mitchell’s absence makes an already thin receiving corps even more short-handed. But it also makes the recent move to bring in Phillip Dorsett that much more important. Dorsett came to New England in a trade that sent quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the Colts on September 2nd.
With the Pats and Chiefs set to kick off the NFL season Thursday night, it won’t be long before fans see how the Pats deal with the attrition to Tom Brady‘s targets in the passing game.