The Patriots placed running back J.J. Taylor on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Monday.
Taylor was inactive against Tennessee Sunday, the second straight week he has been a healthy scratch. He has appeared in five games this season, rushing for 37 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
If Taylor is vaccinated, he can be activated after testing negative twice at least 24 hours apart. If he is unvaccinated, he will have to wait at least 10 days to be activated.
Also, the Titans placed safety Kevin Byard on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Byard was on the field for 98 percent of Tennessee’s defensive snaps.
The Patriots designated rookie kicker Quinn Nordin (abdomen) to return off injured reserve. The team has 21 days to move Nordin to the active roster or he will be sidelined for the remainder of the year.
Nordin, who was placed on IR in Week 2, signed as an undrafted rookie out of Michigan and made some noise during training camp for his impressive leg strength. He initially earned a spot on the 53-man roster, while Nick Folk was released and signed to the practice squad. Nordin was never active for a game, though. Folk was temporarily elevated off the practice squad for Weeks 1 and 2 and then signed to the active roster ahead of Week 3.
Folk has been one of the Patriots’ most valuable players this season, converting 31 of his 34 field goal attempts (91.2 percent). His 31 makes are tied for most in the NFL, and his three misses are all from at least 50 yards out.
Folk, 37, has been dealing with a left knee injury since Week 4, practicing only in a limited capacity, so it’s possible Nordin is intended to relieve some of Folk’s practice duties. Punter Jake Bailey, who handles kickoffs, has also been limited in practice since Week 9, so Nordin could assist with some of those responsibilities as well.
The Patriots also brought in cornerback Thakarius Keyes for a workout. Keyes, 24, was released by the Indianapolis Colts last week. He was active for four games this season, playing a total of eight snaps.
Keyes’s NFL career began in Kansas City in 2020, after the Chiefs drafted him in the seventh round out of Tulane. As a rookie, Keyes appeared in eight games and made eight tackles.
Nicole Yang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.