The New England Patriots have been ravaged by injuries and COVID-19 situations this season.
They led the league in COVID hold-outs with 8, including tight end Matt LaCosse.
The Pats will add some depth at the tight end position with the recent signing of Jordan Thomas.
Thomas, the 24-year-old from Mississippi State, was put on waivers by the Arizona Cardinals.
The Patriots have claimed TE Jordan Thomas on waivers. Thomas was waived by the Cardinals on Saturday.
With the Patriots playing tonight, that move will become official Tuesday.
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Thomas played at Mississippi State. Previous stint with Texans as well.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 9, 2020
Thomas Adds Much Needed Depth
The Patriots had one active tight end on the roster during Monday’s comeback 30-27 win over the New York Jets – Ryan Izzo.
Even Izzo himself wasn’t 100% as he is dealing with a hamstring injury.
But he fought through it to play 74 snaps on offense.
The Patriots project to start the season with 3 tight ends on the roster – Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo, and rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene.
LaCosse then decided to hold-out this season due to COVID, Asiasi was placed on IR after week 8, and Keene was put on IR the following week.
The Patriots' already thin TE room is getting thinner as the team will be placing rookie Dalton Keene on IR, per source. The team recently placed fellow rookie Devin Asiasi on IR too.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 10, 2020
With Izzo also injury prone, New England knew they had to bring in some help.
The tight end position has traditionally played a vital role in the Patriots offense, which is why they brought in Thomas.
Thomas has 22 receptions for 226 yards and 5 touchdowns in his career but has never played many snaps.
He will look to take advantage of his new situation.
Will Patriots Actually Play Thomas?
It’s always a mystery when and how coach Bill Belichick will use players.
During the Jets game, Bill occasionally played fullback Jakob Johnson at tight end.
In max protection scenarios, he also put reserve linemen in at tight end.
Belichick did this even though they called up practice squad TE Rashod Berry for the Jets game.
Berry played 0 snaps against New York.
The Patriots also signed TE’s Dylan Cantrell and David Wells to the practice squad on November 10th.
With COVID restrictions in place, it will be a matter of how quickly these players can acclimate to the offense.NEXT: Cam Newton Sets Passing Record On Monday Night Football