The Patriots have decided against activating Malcolm Mitchell in advance of the Wednesday deadline, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That means that Mitchell will be out of action for the AFC championship game as well as the Super Bowl, should the Patriots make it.
This was the expected outcome as Mitchell did not suit up for Wednesday morning’s practice. Ideally, the Patriots would have liked to have the 24-year-old on the field. As a rookie in 2016, Mitchell had 32 catches for 401 yards and four touchdowns. This year, he was set to have a larger role in the offense before a nagging knee injury sidelined him in the preseason.
The Pats brought Mitchell back on the practice field in late December, giving them three weeks to decide whether to activate him. In theory, the Patriots could have put him on the 53-man roster and left him on the bench for the AFC title game, giving them the option of playing him in the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks. Ultimately, they felt that they would rather preserve their depth elsewhere with a healthy player.
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