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Patriots Place Four on COVID-19/Reserve, including Bourne, Perkins

On Monday, the Patriots added four names to the NFL’s growing list of players on COVID-19/Reserve.

As COVID-19 cases currently surge throughout the NFL, the league’s COVID-19/Reserve list is becoming quite populated, thus decimating the depths of some rosters for their upcoming matchups.

Though their fortunes with regard to player health had been better than that of some other teams, the New England Patriots have not been exempt from feeling the pandemic’s most-recent, alarming effects.

On Monday, the Patriots added four names to the list: wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, as well as linebackers Harvey Langi, Cameron McGrone and Ronnie Perkins

The Pats’ four additions join running back J.J. Taylor, offensive lineman Yasir Durant and tight end Dalton Keene, who are currently on COVID-19/Reserve.

In light of the recent spike in cases, the NFL modified its COVID-19 Protocols last Thursday, in hopes of protecting the health and safety of their players. The changes come in the wake of over 122 players having been placed on COVID-19/Reserve throughout the course of last week.

The potential loss of Bourne, for any period of time, is significant for New England. The 26-year-old has become one of the Patriots most-reliable receivers. In his first season with New England, Bourne has caught 45 passes for a team-high 667 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games. He has also demonstrated an ability to be a threat in the running game, logging nine carries for 100 yards. The versatile wideout even has thrown one touchdown pass.

Langi was placed on Injured Reserve following Week Seven with a sprained MCL. Through seven appearances for the Patriots thus far, Langi has recorded two tackles, playing 16 snaps on defense as a rotational depth option, playing off-the-ball, on the edge and in run-stoppage duty. He has also been a valuable contributor on special teams, primarily on the kicking units, for which he has taken 98 snaps. He recently was designated to return from injured reserve but has yet to be activated.

Both Perkins and McGrone were third- and fifth-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, respectively. Each of the rookies has yet to make their regular-season NFL debuts. Despite seeing a 21-day window of practice time with the Pats, McGrone has since reverted to the non-football injury list, ending his season. Perkins was placed on injured reserve on Saturday with an ankle injury.

Earlier on Monday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked about the new COVID protocols, and how the Patriots would handle them heading into Week Sixteen. Belichick’s response was seemingly steeped in foreshadowing:

“I’d say every day is a new day. I don’t think any of us know what to expect. We’re

following the league rules and protocols, which have been significantly enhanced, or been more restrictive, which I think we all understand, but I think we have to make adjustments and be in compliance with them. We put up a wall in our weight room over the weekend and things like that to be in compliance like we did last year. What this week will bring, I don’t know. Again, I don’t really have any say in this, but we’ll continue to do the best that we can to keep everybody as safe, distanced, masked, and protected as we can. It’s, certainly, an imperfect situation on multiple levels. Whatever we’re doing, I think we’re doing the best that we can. We’re doing all that we can. It’s not perfect. Will it be good enough? Will it be good? We’ll see. Every day, you kind of walk in here and if our medical people came in one day and said we have 20 positive people, I don’t think any of us would be surprised. It’s nice to hear that we have no positives or that we have no symptoms. Those are great words to hear, but I don’t think it would surprise any of us. We’ve already seen five, six, seven teams, whatever it is, have a wide-ranging problem on their team, between staff and players or both. Who’s next? I don’t know. Maybe nobody. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was anybody.”

The Patriots will return to the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, for practice on Wednesday, as they host the Buffalo Bills for a post-Christmas matchup on Sunday, December 26, 2021 at 1:00pm ET.