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5 thoughts on Patriots’ initial roster

Ryan Hannable
September 01, 2018 - 7:09 pm

The Patriots set their initial roster early Saturday night, but it only has 52 players.

In addition, the team placed the following players on injured reserve: 2018 first-round draft pick OL Isaiah Wynn, sixth-round draft picks WR Braxton Berrios and LB Christian Sam, and OL Ulrick John. Also, rookie TE Ryan Izzo reportedly will go on injured reserve with the intent of him returning, which is why he's on the roster now.

Here are five quick thoughts on the roster at the moment.

1. As was mentioned, the roster only has 52 players and then with Izzo reportedly going to injured reserve, that will open up two spots to be filled in the next few days. It is worth noting running back Brandon Bolden was cut and he seems likely to be one of the two spots to be filled. As for the other, with only three wide receivers, not including Matthew Slater, the team likely will be looking for another player there. If not wide out, offensive tackle and linebacker feel like positions that could be upgraded.

2. The running back position is an interesting one as with Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel battling injuries and not playing in the preseason, their dependability is somewhat in question. This was why it was a bit surprising to see Mike Gillislee let go. We’ve wondered if Michel could go on injured reserve after the initial roster so he could return, but with only three other backs on the roster, it seems like the team is planning to have Michel on the field against the Texans — unless of course a back is brought in from the outside before then.

3. The Patriots can get away with having the current group and Julian Edelman once he returns at wide receiver, but it is very risky because of potential injury. There’s nothing wrong with having a group of Edelman, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson, especially when there’s other pass-catching options in James White, Burkhead, Michel, Rob Gronkowski and Jacob Hollister. It likely means the practice squad will be strong at the wide receiver position (more on that later).

4. With J.C. Jackson making the initial roster, that means for the 15th straight year the Patriots have an undrafted player making the team to open the year. Jackson wasn’t the only rookie corner to make it, as Keion Crossen and Duke Dawson are also on the initial roster. In Crossen’s case, the Patriots likely did not want to expose him to waivers as he probably would have been claimed. Dawson missed some time of late, but according to a source he’s “good to go” for Week 1 -- at least health-wise.

5. Bill Belichick always talks about having the practice squad being strong in areas where the active roster is weak, and for this year it feels like the practice squad will be strong at the receiver position (potentially Riley McCarron if he clears waivers) and offensive tackle (they hope Cole Croston clears waivers). A position that likely won’t be represented, or at least not have more than one player, is defensive line as the active roster has 10. With undrafted rookie punter Corey Bojorquez not making the team, it’s worth wondering if he could be on the practice squad if he clears waivers, as he has a massive leg that didn’t get the chance to be shown in the preseason. Belichick isn't above having a punter on the practice squad, especially a left-footer.

Related: Patriots finalize roster with 52 players