The Patriots placed offensive lineman Riley Reiff on injured reserve Monday, which means he will miss at least the first four games of the season.
Reiff has not practiced since suffering a knee injury during the team’s final preseason finale. The fact that Reiff was even playing is reflective of the uncertain state of New England’s offensive line. While most of the other projected starters received the night off, Reiff took 15 snaps before his injury in order to get more reps at right guard alongside rookie Sidy Sow.
When the Patriots signed Reiff to a one-year, $5 million contract (with $4 million guaranteed) this offseason, the expectation was that he would start at right tackle. But a combination of availability and performance issues led the team to move Reiff inside to right guard.
Once starting right guard Michael Onwenu returned to practice, the Patriots had options. They could have kept Reiff on the interior and kicked Onwenu out to tackle, where he played his rookie season, or they could have kept Onwenu at his position and had Reiff compete with Sow and Calvin Anderson for the right tackle job. Now, Reiff is out of the picture for at least four games.
Reiff and wide receiver Tyquan Thornton are the lone Patriots on short-term injured reserve.
To fill Reiff’s spot on the 53-man roster, the Patriots promoted tight end Pharaoh Brown off the practice squad. Brown joined the team last Wednesday.