The New England Patriots have placed running back Sony Michel and receiver Mohamed Sanu on the team’s PUP list, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. New England also placed Brandon King, a key member of the team’s special teams units, on the PUP list. Michel is still recovering from offseason foot surgery, while Sanu is working through an ankle injury.
The 31st overall pick in the 2018 draft, Michel, who reportedly underwent foot surgery back in May, has rushed for 1,843 yards and 13 touchdowns (with a 4.0 yards per carry average) in 29 regular season games. Michel played a key role in the 2018 Super Bowl run, rushing for 336 yards and six touchdowns (with a 4.7 yards per carry average) in New England’s three games during the ’18 postseason. Michel did experience a dip in production in 2019, however, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry for the Patriots, who fell to the Titans in the wild card round.
Sanu, who will celebrate his 31st birthday later this month, caught 26 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown in eight games with the Patriots last season. Mohamed was acquired by New England after the Patriots sent a 2020 second-round pick to the Falcons. In eight seasons, Mohamed, the 83rd overall pick in the 2012 draft, has caught 403 passes for 4,507 yards and 26 touchdowns.
On Sunday, tight end Matt LaCosse became the eighth Patriot to opt out for the 2020 season. Running back Brandon Bolden, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, safety Patrick Chung, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, receiver Marquise Lee, offensive lineman Najee Toran, and fullback Danny Vitale are the other Patriots that have opted out for the upcoming season. No team has had more players opt out than the Patriots will look to continue their record of 17 consecutive postseason appearances in 2020.
Prior to the start of training camp, the NFL and the NFL Player’s Association agreed to a plan that allows players to opt-out of the 2020 season if they are uncomfortable with the COVID-19 health protocols put in place. High-risk individuals could opt-out and receive a $350,000 stipend, whereas those less at risk would receive a $150,000 stipend. Players also have the ability to opt-out later in the season in the event that a family member becomes sick. Here’s the list of players who have made the decision to opt out.
New England will kickoff the season with a home game against AFC East rival Miami on September 13.