The New England Patriots are set to conduct their first practice of 2021 training camp. However, three of the newest Patriots are likely to begin practicing at a later date. On Wednesday, the team announced that they have placed rookies running back Rhamondre Stevenson, linebacker Cameron McGrone, and safety Joshuah Bledsoe on the NFL’s non-football injury (NFI) list.
The Patriots drafted Stevenson out of the University of Oklahoma in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Though he participated in spring practices, running backs coach Ivan Fears told reporters in May that Stevenson was “fighting through a couple nagging things.” Further details on his injury are still unknown at this time.
McGrone arrived in New England after being selected in the fifth round. The former Michigan linebacker suffered a torn ACL in November 2020. Shortly after he was drafted, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stated that McGrone was unlikely to play in 2021 as a result of his injuries. He did report for both OTAs and minicamp, but was unable to participate in on-field drills.
Bledsoe was one of two players selected by New England in the sixth-round of the draft. (The other being William Sherman, OL, Colorado) The Missouri safety suffered a broken wrist at the Senior Bowl. He underwent surgery to repair the injury just prior to the draft. Bledsoe was limited in his participation during offseason workouts, and was spotted wearing a cast on his right arm.
In order to be placed on the NFI list, a rookie must have suffered the injury in their previous collegiate season. Players placed on NFI are not eligible to practice. However, they will continue to count against the 90-man roster. As such, they may be activated at any point before the start of the regular season. Should players remain on NFI after the team makes its roster cuts, they will no longer count against the roster, but cannot be activated for at least six weeks.