FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots have placed Shane Vereen on the injured reserve/designated to return list, meaning the running back will miss at least the next eight games.
Vereen broke a bone in his wrist early in Sunday’s win against the Bills, but still managed to gain 159 all-purpose yards, including the first 100-yard rushing game of his career (14 carries, 101 yards). He had surgery to repair the break Monday, with initial reports speculating that he’d miss four weeks or so.
Based on the IR/DFR designation, Vereen won’t be able to practice until after Week 7, and won’t be able to play until after Week 9. The Patriots have a bye in Week 10, so the earliest Vereen could play in a game would be Nov. 18, a Monday night game at Carolina. He’ll miss two games against the Jets — including Thursday night’s home opener — and also games with Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Miami, and Pittsburgh.
To replace Vereen on the 53-man active roster, the Patriots re-signed tight end Matthew Mulligan. He was originally signed by the team on Sept. 3, and was released two days later. With Rob Gronkowski (forearm/back) and Zach Sudfeld (hamstring) dealing with injuries, it left Michael Hoomanawanui as the only healthy tight end.
The Patriots also announced a pair of practice squad transactions: They re-signed defensive lineman A.J. Francis, and released receiver Quentin Sims.