Mitchell will be eligible to return after eight weeks since he made the Patriots' initial 53 man roster. 

By Daniel Rapaport
September 07, 2017

Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell is headed to the Injured Reserve list due to a knee injury, reports NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Mitchell, a 24-year-old who had six catches for 70 yards in the Patriots' Super Bowl victory last season, has been limited in preseason activities—he only played in one preseason game, posting two catches for 13 yards in New England's second preseason contest against the Texans. 

Because Mitchell was on the Patriots' initial 53-man roster, he will be eligible to return to the team after eight weeks. This is the first season in which a team can recall two players from injured reserve after eight weeks, as the old limit was one. 

It's the second blow to the Patriots receiving corps of the last few weeks, as Julian Edelman suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Patriots' third preseason game on Aug. 25.

The two injuries result in a major shakeup of the Patriots offense, as Tom Brady is now without two of his top four receivers. From a fantasy perspective, the most direct beneficiaries should be Chris Hogan and the newly acquired Phillip Dorsett. Dorsett prefers to operate on the outside, where Mitchell did, and poses a significant deep threat, though he has struggled with drops throughout his brief NFL career.

The Patriots' top receiver, Brandin Cooks, will draw more attention with Edelman and Mitchell's absence, while Danny Amendola primarily operates in the slot and shouldn't be too heavily impacted. Rob Gronkowski will receive his healthy share of targets as well, per usual.

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