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Patriots place Riley Reiff on IR, promote TE Pharaoh Brown


With Reiff now in IR, the veteran tackle will miss at least the first four games of the 2023 season.

Riley Reiff was injured in the second quarter of New England’s preseason final against the Titans on August 25. (AP Photo/John Amis)

The Patriots’ depth on the offensive line took another hit Monday night.

New England has announced a series of roster changes, with the team placing veteran offensive lineman Riley Reiff on injured reserve. Reiff, who suffered a lower-body injury in New England’s preseason final against the Titans on Aug. 25, will now miss at least the first four games of the 2023 regular season.

In corresponding moves, the Patriots signed tight end Pharaoh Brown from the practice squad and added him to the 53-man roster, then replaced Brown on the practice squad by signing defensive tackle. Jeremiah Pharms.

The absence of Reiff further complicates the Patriots offensive line with many question marks, especially at the right tackle.

New England handed Reiff a one-year, $5 million deal (the second-highest paid tackle on the list) this offseason, with the 34-year-old projected as one of the starting tackles in the league. team alongside Trent Brown before training camp.

But Reiff hasn’t stood out in rehearsals at RT, both in competitive drills and in pre-season action, prompting New England to move him to right guard.

Reiff held firm in that position during the Patriots’ preseason game against the Packers. According to Louie Benjamin of Pro Football FocusReiff recorded 31 snaps against the Packers and didn’t give in to pressure or get beaten.

Even though the Patriots signed Reiff hoping he would step in at tackle, his solid play at RG opened up several contingency plans for the Patriots, such as Reiff staying inside and Mike Onwenu moving to right tackle.

There were hints that Reiff was going to miss some time, as New England came out and traded for tackles Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and Vederian Lowe just two days after the game against Tennessee.

Still, with Reiff out of the equation, the Patriots are still looking for a surefire solution to the right tackle. Wheatley Jr. and Lowe both have an edge but need time to acclimate to the New England system, while rookie Sidy Sow has gone through plenty of growing pains since taking the helm. tackle during preseason games.

Fellow countryman Calvin Anderson impressed in the spring tackle sessions but then missed all of training camp and pre-season due to a non-football related illness. Anderson has since been activated and made the 53-man roster, but he’ll need to get back up to speed quickly if he wants to line up at right tackle this Sunday against the Eagles.

“It’s been limited obviously, but it’s good to have Calvin back,” Bill Belichick said Monday of Anderson’s status. β€œIt’s similar to what we saw from him in the spring and in Denver. He is flexible, flexible in position to play both tackles. He’s a young player but he has enough experience to be able to handle a lot of things and figure things out faster than a rookie, even though he played for another team.

β€œHe was able to, I would say, make a pretty good transition from a task point of view, from a technical point of view and we will see how it goes. We’re sort of working on more tackle moves with Calvin, as you mentioned, and then with the two players that we acquired with [Vederian] Lowe and [Tyrone] Wheatley [Jr.], so we’ll see how things go. We got three tackles there in one day, it seems, and it was good to get it.

With Brown activated, the Patriots now have three tight ends on the 53-man roster. Brown will play an important role behind Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki.

Known as a tight tackle, Brown caught 51 passes for 478 yards and two touchdowns in 55 career NFL games.


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