The New England Patriots have been bitten by the injury bug a bit to start the 2018 season. Two of those injuries have been rookie linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley and veteran running back Rex Burkhead. Both players had carved out nice roles for themselves on their respective sides of the football, and the Patriots needed to replace them after placing them on injured reserve.
Enter linebacker/defensive end John Simon and running back Kenjon Barner.
Both players are solid additions for the Patriots. Simon was released just ahead of the regular season by the Indianapolis Colts after having a big preseason. Barner played with the Philadelphia Eagles last season and was searching for a new opportunity after being unable to win a job in that crowded backfield.
New #Patriots DE John Simon is wearing No. 55. DE Trey Flowers and S Patrick Chung (concussions) have returned. Kenjon Barner and David Jones are here. pic.twitter.com/ixQDGRt2Yi
— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) September 26, 2018
Barner did have a stint of a little over a week earlier this year with the Patriots, which made this signing expected.
Simon is without question the more intriguing pickup for the Patriots. Last season with the Colts, he recorded 43 tackles, 3.0 sacks, an interception, a defensive touchdown, and a defended pass in just nine games. Those numbers show how productive he is capable of being.
It will be interesting to see how these two moves work out for the Patriots, but they are quality players that fans should be excited to see on the field as soon as possible. New England has gotten off to a sluggish 1-2 stat, and the team is hoping these players can help them turn things around.