Tom E. Curran on Joe Judge, Patriots' OTA violation
The Patriots were already having a bad enough Thursday when news broke of their special teams meeting violation costing them two OTA practices and coach Bill Belichick $50,000. Now comes bad news of an injury and IR stint on the defensive side of the ball.
The Patriots announced they placed linebacker Raekwon McMillan on injured reserve Thursday, ending his 2023 season before it began. Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported the injury was a partially torn achilles.
McMillan, who played in 16 games for the Pats last season with one start, missed the 2021 season with New England after tearing his ACL. The hope was a year in the system and getting his legs under him again would help make McMillan a key contributor in 2023 on a defense lacking elite linebacker talent. Unfortunately, we may never know what kind of impact McMillan would have now.
Because the move was made in the offseason, McMillan is ineligible to return to the Patriots at any point during the season. He could potentially play for another team if he were released with an injury settlement, but that would of course only happen if he recovers in time to play at some point.
The Patriots also announced they signed tight end Anthony Firkser to a one-year deal Thursday. Firkser, a Harvard grad and veteran entering his sixth NFL season, played the majority of his time with Mike Vrabel’s Tennessee Titans. His claim to fame regionally is catching the lone offensive touchdown for the Titans in their stunning Wild Card Round win vs. the Patriots in Jan. 2020, Tom Brady’s final game with the Pats. Here’s hoping he makes new, more positive memories for Pats fans at Gillette Stadium.