The New England Patriots placed three more players on their reserve/COVID-19 list. The NFL hasn’t made a change to the schedule, and New England will play its game against the Denver Broncos. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his coaches had to replace the players and now they are calling up players from the practice squad.
Four players will step in as replacement for running back Sony Michel, guard Shaq Mason and defensive end Derek Rivers. Reserve center/guard James Ferentz is already on this list.
Patriots use practice squad players
New England promoted wide receiver Isaiah Zuber, defensive tackle Nick Thurman and edge rusher Rashod Berry to the gameday roster. Belichick also elevated offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch as confirmed in a report from ESPN’s Mike Reiss. All four players will suit up for Sunday’s game against Denver.
Thurman steps in as a replacement for Byron Cowart. He remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list after his test returned positive last weekend.
Berry is an undrafted free agent who played tight end at Ohio State. Derek Rivers landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday and Berry will replace him. This is actually his very first NFL game.
Benenoch has a lot of O-line experience. He started 16 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018. Analysts believe he will provide enough O-line depth. New England placed Ferentz on the COVID list Friday. Mason got his place Saturday.
Zuber is having his third straight call-up to the active roster. New England has found great purpose for his “speed and elusiveness on jet sweeps and reserves.”
New England has placed five players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Cowart, Rivers, Ferentz, Mason and Michel will have to be cleared before joining their teammates. Michel is also on injured reserve, and Belichick has already ruled him out for Sunday’s match against Denver.
The Patriots have been dealing with a few positive tests, and the situation seems to be under control. The NFL has planned the upcoming games and players trust the system. Hopefully, it won’t fail to meet their expectations.