The Patriots are down a wide receiver going into the first game of the season.
Tom E. Curran of Comcast SportsNet New England tweeted shortly before 5 p.m. that second-year wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell will be placed on injured reserve due to his knee injury. He was previously listed as questionable.
The Pats drafted Mitchell in the fourth round last year. He appeared in 14 games last season, starting six, and made 32 catches on 48 targets for 401 yards and four touchdowns.
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According to Curran, outside linebacker Ted Karras will be elevated to the roster.
As Comcast SportsNet's Phil Perry notes, a rule change means players do not need to be given a return designation to be eligible to play again after being placed on injured reserve. If the Patriots determine the injury is not season-ending, Mitchell could be back at practice in six weeks and play in games in eight weeks, Perry writes.
It's worth noting that New England recently traded quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the Colts for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, who could see an increased role in Mitchell's absence.
Following Julian Edelman's ACL tear, the wide receiver core also includes Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola.