FOXBOROUGH — Cornerback Duke Dawson on Thursday became the latest Patriots draft pick to get bad injury news, as the team placed him on injured reserve. Dawson, who hasn’t been available since the first week of the preseason, has been dealing with a hamstring injury. He did not practice on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday.
The second-round pick, who played at the University of Florida, projected to play mostly in the slot. Without him, it’s possible that Eric Rowe will spend more time there, which could mean more reps for Jonathan Jones on the outside opposite Stephon Gilmore. Rowe and Gilmore are the starters, but Jones has had an impressive summer and that look with him on the outside and Rowe in the slot was used in the preseason.
Dawson is eligible to return after eight weeks. For now, his spot on the roster has been filled by wide receiver Riley McCarron, who was on the practice squad. McCarron provides depth as a slot receiver, which may be valuable while Julian Edelman is suspended, and he returns punts.