The New England Patriots placed another player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. But, veteran quarterback Cam Newton is back with the team and all ready for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos. New England entered the new season without a few key players, and the coronavirus pandemic has led to serious changes to the weekly schedule. The NFL moved the game against Denver twice and hopefully, officials will make the best decision regarding the most recent positive test. Head coach Bill Belichick and his coaches have been working with the players, getting them ready for the upcoming games. Tight ends coach Nick Caley talked about rookie Dalton Keene and his impact on the game.
Things go really well for the rookie tight end. He has yet to put on a Patriots uniform. Keene missed the first two games of the season due to a neck injury. He was a healthy scratch in Weeks 3 and 4.
“He works extremely hard,” Caley said Friday. “He’s smart, he’s tough, he plays with great effort. So, I’ve been pleased with everything, honestly, dating back to when we got into this offseason virtually. Always prepared and does a great job of trying to work his tail off, whether it’s in the playbook or at practice doing a little bit extra. I’ve been very pleased with his effort from the start.”
The Patriots may give Dalton Keene a chance on the field
Will Keene hit the field and help the team win games? The Patriots could easily use some help with their tight end unit. Ryan Izzo had three catches for 44 yards. Rookie Devin Asiasi has yet to catch the ball.
“I think every week is different and ultimately that’s Coach (Bill Belichick)’s decision based on the roster makeup, based on the game plan, based on what we’re doing,” Caley added. “There are a lot of things that go into it. You can’t just point to one. I think the biggest thing that he has shown and honestly the guys in the room, the entire group has, is they’ve improved, and I’ve been pleased with the rate of improvement fundamentally from an overall understanding of the offensive standpoint. So, just got to keep going in that direction. We’re a quarter of the way through the regular season here and there’s a lot — this is the NFL. It’s about improvement and we’ve all got to do that as a group. He’s worked hard, and he’s improving every day.”
The Patriots selected Keene 101st overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. Coach Belichick hinted that Keene may see a hard transition into the offense. He has enough talent to earn a spot on Belichick’s roster. The COVID-19 situation may speed up the process and give Keene a chance to play his best football.