The Patriots appeared to be close to having a starter on their defensive interior available soon, but things have quickly taken a significant turn. Christian Barmore has been placed on IR, per a team announcement.
The 23-year-old has been sidelined since Week 6 due to a knee injury. That cost him New England’s three contests before their bye week, but a return had been expected soon. Indeed, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes that Barmore appeared to be on track to play this Sunday against the Jets until being rule out earlier today (Twitter link).
A second-round pick in 2021, Barmore appeared in all 17 games as a rookie; though he officially only started two of those contests, he logged a 55% snap share. That figure sits at 53% in 2022, though a breakthrough in the pass-rush department has yet to take place at the NFL level. Barmore has 2.5 sacks across his 23 games in New England, after he exploded with 8.0 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in his final season at Alabama.
By being placed on IR, Barmore will now miss at least another four weeks. New England has six of their allotted eight activations remaining, though they have a list of players who will use up some of that total including quarterback Brian Hoyer and running back Ty Montgomery.
In Barmore’s continued absence, the Patriots will carry on with the likes of Deatrich Wise, Davon Godchaux, Lawrence Guy and Carl Davis along the defensive interior. While that front has surrendered over 120 yards per game on the ground, it has contributed to the unit’s overall performance in allowing the sixth-fewest points per game (18.4).
Sitting in fourth in the highly-competitive AFC East, the 5-4 Patriots’ playoff hopes will be greatly affected by the outcome of Sunday’s game. They will not have their highly-touted d-lineman available, though, and his development will have taken another hit by the time the calendar flips to December.