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Patriots declare one of two players eligible to come off injured reserve this season

Ryan Hannable
October 24, 2018 - 2:15 pm

FOXBORO -- NFL rules allow teams to bring back two players off injured reserve over the course of the season, and the Patriots have already declared one of their two.

Cornerback Duke Dawson, the Patriots' second-round pick this season, returned to the practice field on Wednesday, the first day he was eligible to. Dawson was placed on IR prior to Week 1 against the Texans with a groin injury.

The earliest the Florida product can return to a game is Week 10 against the Titans. If he doesn't, he would have one more week of practice before he would need to be added to the active roster, or go back to IR.

If that happened, he would still count as one of the two Patriots players eligible to come off IR. This is what happened with Shea McClellin last year. Two other candidates are Ja'Whaun Bentley and Rex Burkhead, although it appears Bentley is done for the season.

Dawson is now added to a crowded cornerback room, which includes Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, Eric Rowe, Jonathan Jones, Keion Crossen and J.C. Jackson.

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: According to @patscap, Dawson can return in Week 9 against the Packers.

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