The New England Patriots have hit full stride in training camp. They have players on the PUP list who might find themselves losing their roster spot, however.
The New England Patriots are in the midst of the team’s second week of training camp and roster battles have begun to become apparent. Now that the Patriots have finally put the pads on and practices have become more physical, we may finally see the roster take shape.
Unfortunately, there are some players that have started training camp on the PUP list which means that they have not had the chance to practice as yet. At this time of year, any missed practice time missed by a player could mean the difference between starting or being a reserve or the worst-case scenario is that it could cost a player their roster spot.
If these players do not come back soon, they may find themselves either on the regular-season PUP list, placed on IR, or even cut or traded by the team. These five players are now facing an uphill battle when it comes to their position battle.
5 New England Patriots on the PUP list that might be cut from the 53-man roster
5. Jarrett Stidham, QB
Earning the starting or backup quarterback job was already going to be very difficult for Jarrett Stidham. It was a bit of a surprise to see Stidham wind up on the PUP list until we all learned he also had back surgery.
Stidham might have been battling to potentially be either the backup at quarterback, but the presence of Brian Hoyer means he may have been fighting for his place on the roster. His timeline for recovery is roughly 12 weeks which means he may start the regular season on the PUP list. If he is lucky, that will be the case. Otherwise, he may find himself either as an injured free agent looking for a new team.
4. Dalton Keene, TE
Even though he is only a second-year player, Dalton Keene has a difficult task in making the 2021 Patriots roster. Being unable to compete in training camp makes things even harder for him.
Keene already saw his roster spot threatened with offseason signees Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. Beating out Devin Asiasi and Matt LaCosse was not going to be easy. It was assumed Keene would also get a shot in some sort of H-back or fullback role similar to what the team might have had in mind for Danny Vitale last season.
With Keene only appearing in six games last season and not able to practice as yet, it might be hard for the coaches to have enough confidence in him to handle that role.
3. Terez Hall, LB
Terez Hall was an underdog favorite of some Patriots fans last season. He made his may to starter after previously spending his rookie season on and off of the team’s practice squad. He managed to start four games and appear in eight with 50 total tackles.
New England was very poor against the run last season and they made some offseason additions to improve the run defense. Part of the additions were potential reinforcements at inside linebacker.
Hall had little chance of beating out players like Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy. With all of the additions and players like Raekwon McMillan who can also take any special teams duty that Hall also played, his roster spot could be in serious jeopardy.
2. Byron Cowart, DL
Like Terez Hall, Byron Cowart was also a key part of the defensive front that felt like an open gate for running backs. He is only going into his third season, but the competition on the defensive line is fierce this summer.
Missing time is not going to help Cowart hold off players like Henry Anderson, Lawrence Guy, or even Akeem Spence. No matter how he looked in OTAs or minicamp, those sessions did not include any real contact for the defensive line. Cowart will need to get back on the practice field to prove his worth and keep his place on the roster
1. Chase Winovich, DL/EDGE
Things were not looking good for Chase Winovich when the Patriots brought in reinforcements for the end positions of the defensive front this offseason. They are even worse now that he has not been able to participate in training camp.
Winovich also missed the team’s minicamp so he’s really losing ground. He was arguably the team’s best pass rusher last season, but he also struggled in defending against the run. He was potentially already unseated by Matt Judon and either Kyle Van Noy and/or Josh Uche.
It could get worse if other players surpass him during contact drills in training camp. Winovich might not be cut, but he could find himself in limited duty if he is not traded.