After suffering an injury during Sunday’s win over the Jets, Patriots defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale will miss at least a month. The team announced that they’ve placed the defensive lineman on injured reserve. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Ekuale tore his biceps, an injury that will keep him off the field for at least four games.
After bouncing between the Browns and Jaguars to begin his career, Ekuale has found a home in New England in recent years. After getting into seven games with the Patriots in 2021, Ekuale appeared in 15 games for the team in 2022, getting into about one third of the team’s defensive snaps. The defensive tackle ultimately finished last season with 14 tackles and a pair of sacks.
Through the first three games of the 2023 season, Ekuale was seeing a similar role as he did in 2022. Pro Football Focus currently has the defensive tackle graded 50th among 128 qualifying interior defenders, although the site did give him a top-20 grade for his run defense.
Fortunately for the Patriots, the team isn’t in desperate need for defensive line help. Davon Godchaux and Lawrence Guy will continue to soak up most of the snaps in the middle of the defensive line, and the team could get creative with Christian Barmore. Sam Roberts also saw a bump in snaps once Ekuale exited Sunday’s game.