With the New England Patriots set to begin training camp practices on Wednesday, July 28, a key member of the tight end depth chart will not be joining them on the field.
As first reported by Jim McBride of The Boston Globe, second-year tight end Devin Asiasi has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, and thus will be sidelined to start camp. As Asiasi is fully vaccinated, he can return when he produces two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart.
Shortly after McBride’s initial report, ESPN’s Mike Reiss provided some additional context on Asiasi’s positive test, indicating that it happened 5-6 days ago, after he felt mild symptoms.
Heading into training camp, Asiasi appeared to be the front-runner to earn the third slot on the tight end depth chart. Despite a statistically sour rookie season, one in which he caught just two passes on seven targets for 39 yards and one touchdown, he did show signs of promise. The former UCLA Bruin has a good blend of size, speed and length. He displays impressive athleticism and has demonstrated some upside as a route runner. Asiasi’s greatest asset is that he is a natural hands catcher with above-average body control. After a solid performance in mandatory minicamp, Asiasi is expected to make strides in 2021.
For now, however, Asiasi will continue his work with the team on a virtual basis. As a result, newly-signed tight end David Wells should see increased reps in camp, with Dalton Keene currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.