FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots are placing wide receiver N’Keal Harry, their first-round draft choice, on injured reserve, opening a spot to re-sign veteran Demaryius Thomas, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Harry pulled up in a practice with the Detroit Lions on Aug. 6, and then after surprisingly being in the lineup for the Aug. 8 preseason opener, came up injured after making two catches. Harry is expected to return this year, but he won’t be eligible to do so until after the sixth week of the season.
Players on short-term IR are eligible to begin practicing after six weeks. They are not eligible to return to the active list and play in games until eight weeks have elapsed since the date of being placed on IR.
The club released Thomas on Saturday, with the intention of re-signing him. It was a procedural move, as the Patriots couldn’t place Harry on injured reserve until after Sunday at 4 p.m. ET for him to be eligible to return this year.
Harry, the No. 32 overall pick out of Arizona State, is the highest-drafted receiver in Bill Belichick’s 20-year tenure as Patriots head coach.