The New England Patriots will start off the 2022 NFL season without defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale as he was suspended by the NFL.
Field Yates from ESPN reported that the Patriots defensive tackle will serve his two-game suspension from the league to begin the regular season. The move has officially made the transaction wire. We don’t have details about the exact rule violation.
Ekuale, 28, inked a futures deal with the Patriots in January. He arrived on the practice unit at its formation in September. The Patriots called the Washington State prospect upon as a standard elevation during the COVID outbreak in eight games. This is actually a team-high for the Patriots players. He also saw action in the wild-card game against the Buffalo Bills.
In his 115 defensive snaps, Ekuale recorded six tackles and two sacks.
Patriots defensive tackle suspended, but will participate in preseason activities
This may be a blow for the Patriots as they need each and every player on their roster. Hopefully, other players won’t serve a suspension.
Ekuale entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He measured at 6’3’’, 305 pounds. The defensive tackle has also played with the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars. He cleared waivers at the 53man roster deadline in September. According to analysts, Ekuale won’t count against the Patriots’ active limit while serving his suspension this September.
Of course, this suspension won’t stop Ekuale from taking part in preseason activities and games. Head coach Bill Belichick will be able to see him in action after all.
The Patriots’ interior defensive line consists of Lawrence Guy, Davon Godchaux, Christian Barmore, Deatrich Wise, Carl Davis, Byron Cowart, Henry Anderson, Bill Murray and rookies Sam Roberts and LaBryan Ray on the unit.
Ekuale will join a new group in 2022 and this will be a big challenge for him.
Belichick cancelled the final session of mandatory minicamp and the final two OTAs practices. Players will meet in July and hopefully, they will make an impact this season. It’s not like they didn’t made an impact in 2021. They just have to do better than a seven-game winning streak.