Patriots Place G Cole Strange On IR

The Patriots bad season got worse this weekend when they saw starting offensive guard Cole Strange carted off the field yesterday. After the knee injury forced him to leave the game, Strange has been placed on injured reserve, per a team announcement.

In his second NFL season out of Chattanooga, the former first-round pick has fared much better against his professional competition this year. After grading out as the 61st best guard in the league as a rookie, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Strange currently ranks as the 28th best guard this season.

Unfortunately, injuries have kept him from really blossoming in 2023. After missing the team’s season-opener, Strange came back for two games before being forced to leave the Patriots’ Week 3 contest early. He would be forced to sit out for three games before coming back to make eight straight starts up until this most recent injury.

Atonio Mafi, the fifth-round rookie out of UCLA started in place of Strange in the previous four games he’d missed and filled in for Strange when he left the game yesterday. With Strange out for the rest of the year, Mafi will be starting three more games to end his rookie campaign.

New England also added another body to the quarterbacks room today. Joining Bailey Zappe and Mac Jones at the position will be Nathan Rourke. Rourke was waived by the Jaguars this weekend to make room for return specialist Jamal Agnew to come off IR and found himself getting claimed off the waiver wire by the Patriots. The former CFL quarterback hasn’t made an NFL appearance, but with the season all but decided for New England, the Patriots may decide to see just what they have in Rourke.

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